why people cheat in relationships

People are always looking for reasons to explain why people cheat in relationships.

By Sarah P.

Cheating is a choice.

But, studies suggest that some people are more likely to cheat in relationships than others. That could be true. For example, people can be divided into different groups in many ways.

  • Some people are introverts and prefer to sit around and read, drink tea, and snuggle with their dog or cat. There are many people that have this is common.
  • There are many extroverts who thrive at social events and have similar socially-based hobbies.

These are benign categories of people.

Then there are the folks who are NOT benign and can be grouped. These are people with personality disorders:

  • Narcissists
  • Sociopaths
  • People with borderline personality disorder

People in these groups will have universal traits that can group them together. So, are cheaters a type of isolated group of people who just cheat?

This article thinks so:

Correlates that Make a Man More Likely to Cheat 

Here is an abstract that I have copied and pasted from a medical journal. After you read it, I will briefly breakdown how this might be relevant to betrayed wives when they wonder if their husband will CHOOSE to cheat again. From PubMed:

“Psychobiological correlates of extramarital affairs and differences between stable and occasional infidelity among men with sexual dysfunctions.

INTRODUCTION:

The relationship between extramarital affairs and male sexual dysfunctions (SDs) has not been completely clarified.

AIM:

The aim of the present study is to describe how the reported presence of extramarital affairs vs. no report differentiates men attending medical care for SDs.

METHODS:

A nonselected series of 2,592 heterosexual (mean age 55 +/- 12.5 years) male patients with SD was studied with Structured Interview on Erectile Dysfunction (SIEDY). Furthermore, a complete physical examination and a series of biochemical, hormonal, and penile vascular evaluations were performed.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Several hormonal, biochemical, and instrumental parameters were investigated along with items derived from SIEDY.

RESULTS:

Infidelity is associated with relational problems within the primary couple, particularly in those with a stable secondary relationship. Furthermore, a higher androgenization is present in men with infidelity. Patients with SD reporting extramarital affairs had higher stress at work, a longer primary relationship span, and higher risk of conflicts within the primal couple and within the family. In addition, infidel men showed a higher risk of partner’s illness and partner’s hypoactive sexual desire. Among organic factors, a lower prevalence of hypogonadism was observed in infidel men. These subjects showed a better sexual function than the rest of the sample. In addition, they reported a higher intercourse frequency in the previous 3 months (considering both the primary and secondary relationship), a lower prevalence of hypoactive sexual desire (HSD), and a lower feeling of discomfort or guilt about autoerotism. Finally, when SIEDY scales were considered, SIEDY Scale 2 (relational domain) and Scale 3 (intrapsychic domain) scores were significantly higher in infidel subjects when compared with the rest of the sample.

CONCLUSIONS:

Infidelity is associated with relational problems within the primary couple, particularly in those with a stable secondary relationship. Furthermore, a higher androgenization is present in men who commit infidelity.” (1)

 

why people cheat

If you are a female, betrayed spouse, what does this mean to you?

Well, the most important way to evaluate the information in this study is realizing that this study was framed around different types of sexual dysfunction in men. These men had sought treatment for their type of sexual dysfunction.

The doctors who did the study wanted to see if there were correlates between sexual dysfunction in men that could directly correlate to infidelity. They also did psychology studies and biochemical studies along with hormonal evaluations on these men.

This study was conducted in 2008 and they also had a control group.

In the end, they found that men who had certain types of sexual dysfunctional also participated in extramarital affairs and had less guilt.

They ended up creating a profile of the men who cheated the most.

In short, these men who cheated the most had high-stress work environments, they had higher than usual amounts of testosterone, and they generally had a “stable” secondary partner. (Whatever that means? There is no such thing as a “stable” secondary partner if given enough time.) These men also happened to cause illness in their primary partner.

I am grateful that the study pointed out illness in the primary partner – aka the betrayed wife – when a husband cheated. A woman’s intuition is rarely wrong. She will know what is happening and it is not uncommon for a normally healthy woman to become ill when her husband is intentionally hiding an affair.

She can feel it in her body, her body will pump out cortisol, and too much cortisol for an extended period can lower the immune system.  This can cause a healthy woman to become physically ill and if she does to the doctor, the source of her illness may be hard to pin down.

Still, even if there are people who have things that make them more likely to cheat, they still must choose to cheat.

As humans, we have higher reasoning. We know right from wrong and we can make decisions.

We must own our choices and our decisions even if we are pre-disposed to something that had negative social impacts and is regarded as wrong.

Why People Cheat in Relationships – The Cheating Gene

There is a controversial idea making its rounds that people can be born with a cheating gene. They can find a large difference in the brain activity of cheaters and non-cheaters. Here Dr. Phil discusses the cheating gene:

 

 

Because the brain is so complex and because it is actively being shaped by its environment, this could be a chicken and an egg thing.

Did something earlier in life happen to cause a person to have less inhibition and drop all moral codes when a bottom-feeder shows up?

However, a gene called DRD4 has been found to pre-dispose people to cheat:

 

 “Scientists have a hunch that the desire to cheat could be linked back to something called the dopamine receptor DRD4 polymorphism — aka the “thrill-seeking” gene that’s also been called out as the gene responsible for alcoholism and gambling addiction.

In a 2010 study performed by researchers at Binghamton University in New York, it was found that participants who possessed a specific kind of DRD4 gene were more likely to cheat.

For their study, SUNY Doctoral Diversity Fellow and lead investigator, Justin Garcia, recruited 181 young adults. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about their sexual behaviors, as well as to submit a DNA sample which would be tested in order to determine the variation of DRD4 in their DNA.

According to the team’s findings published in the journal “PLOS One,” everyone has DRD4, but the more you have, the more prone you are to thrill-seeking. In other words, you could be more drawn to the temptation of things you probably shouldn’t be, like cheating, for no other reason other than you want to feel the “thrill” associated with it.

Garcia told ABC News it all goes back to the release of dopamine, aka the happy hormone. Humans are naturally drawn to activities that make them feel pleasure, but according to Garcia, people who possess this certain DRD4 gene require more than the average person.

 People with the DRD4 gene need more stimuli to feel satiated,” Garcia said. “Some say ‘wow,’ that was a rush after jumping out of a plane. Others ask, ‘When is the plane going back up?'”

Even if you’re predisposed to the ‘thrill gene,’ that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll act on your impulses

There is still a limited supply of scientific evidence to support this theory.

Given the results of the study, it seems that it might be fair to say some cheaters really can’t help themselves. But because there is such a limited supply of scientific evidence to support this claim, experts say you shouldn’t make this assumption.

Robert Weiss, MSW, author of “Out of the Doghouse,” told INSIDER that while a small group of people is predisposed to the thrill gene, that doesn’t necessarily mean this group has to act on these sorts of impulses.

“Plenty of people are genetically predisposed toward alcoholism, but only a small percentage become alcoholic because many other factors are in play (environment, self-will, life experience, resiliency to turmoil, etc.),” Weiss said. “The same is true with a genetic predisposition toward infidelity and promiscuity; other factors are in play. Regardless of our genetics, we maintain free will when it comes to sexual behaviors. We always have a choice.” (2)

 

We had the pleasure to interview Robert Weiss, MSW, last year and this interview can be found in our member’s area.

How About Just Avoiding It?

As regular readers know, my mantra is cheating is a choice.

I also am a strong believer that if someone is pulled to something they KNOW is wrong, they should proactively avoid it.

Did someone get too much of a rush when they spent a $100 on the slots and lost it all? Are they obsessing about it? Never, ever go near a casino.

When I took several courses on the nature of addiction, the research has shown over and over again that gambling is the most dangerous thing to even experiment with. The research shows most people cannot handle it and they will go into deep denial. Then one day they will be sitting on the street because they lost EVERYTHING. Even then, hard-core gamblers do not have insight.

Was grandpa a hard-core, mean drunk who died of alcoholism? It’s a good idea NOT to pick up the bottle.

Was mom or dad a philanderer? It’s an excellent idea to get therapy before you even consider marrying another person. Then, you must build proactive boundaries that prevent the cheating door from opening.

It’s called ownership.

It’s called self-awareness and evaluating one’s impact on others. Will we make a positive impact or negative impact?

It’s our CHOICE.

It’s called making a choice NOT to be that person who destroys the lives of others.

In Orthodox Judaism, married men and women are NOT friends with people of the opposite sex. It is highly discouraged and actively avoided. If both husband and wife follow these values, neither will have an affair.

I had a married, family friend once who just loved doing what he called “walking up to the cliff and peeking over” when it came to flirting with female strangers and asking for peep shows. I was also friends with his wife. I told him to stay far away from that metaphorical cliff. He insisted he could handle it.

Could he really?

No.

He left his wife because temptation had gotten the best of him and he was too cowardly to tell her he was leaving her for someone else who he had been having a sexual relationship with for quite a while.

The day he said they were getting a divorce, his wife was absolutely leveled. This married couple had an active love life (with each other) and his wife did not even know they had a bad marriage!

He is no longer a family friend.

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Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19143911

https://www.insider.com/is-infedility-genetic-why-people-cheat-2018-10

    27 replies to "Why People Cheat in Relationships"

    • Nearly Normal

      Hi Sarah. Good article as usual.

      Although I do not have a problem with the concept that a person might be more inclined to certain vices than others, I think it can lead to problems. Perhaps you’ve encountered this yourself, I have not, but it seems to me that someone may say, “It’s not my fault that I cheated because I was predisposed to it.” There are certain cultures out there that already sort of have this idea, that men are bound to cheat anyway, so why try to stop them? Men may sometimes get the idea of entitlement, like it is their right to cheat, as if no man could possibly be monogamous (it’s unnatural!) so they might as well enjoy it. This is, of course, despicable.

      Any studies you’re aware of whether some women have a similar predisposition to cheating? Just curious.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Nearly Normal,
        If someone says they are pre-disposed to cheat, they don’t get a pass. If someone has a cheating gene? So what? We all have agency. We all have free will. We are all adults.

        A definition of agency:

        “Agency (sociology) In social science, agency is the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices.”

        None of us are automatons and none of us get a pass.

        Let’s take an extreme example of what it means to have agency. There was a man born without hands and arms. That’s a PHYSICAL issue that he must overcome each day. He could lean on his [physical issue and give up on living. People would probably say that’s fair because how do you walk when you don’t have legs? How do you reach out when you have no arms?

        But, that’s not what he did. He is a swimmer, a surfer, a husband, a father, and a motivational speaker. He went to the OPPOSITE extreme of who he is and he went in the most extreme positive direction.

        I don’t give people a pass, even if there do-called DNA says so. They can go to the positive extreme. They can overcome and disprove that DNA doesn’t define them.

        For people who say monogamy is unnatural, they can go find an island and all live together and NOT bother those of us who keep promises. I would never marry into a culture where they say a man is bound to cheat. I wouldn’t accept it.

        Women who have predispositions to cheating…the research is hard to pin down. Women are chemically driven to bond with their lover or husband.

        However, now that women are in the workplace, they cheat just as much as men. I am still trying to figure out why women cheat. There is no one-size-fits-all.

        Men who have been cheated on… what did your wives tell you? Anything? Were your wives “flakey” before they cheated? Did your wives eschew responsibility even before they cheated? Because there are character traits – found both in men and women – that can make ALL people feel more entitled (in general) and these same traits often lead to people refusing to be accountable. That’s not a good combination in general.

        How are you doing?

        Sarah

        • Nearly Normal

          I am doing well, thanks for asking. I am in a pretty good place emotionally. More open and able to communicate with my wife, and I plan in the near future to work on more improvements. Not to say the road isn’t bumpy sometimes, but there are at least no fears of more betrayal. That is all in the past.

          btw agree completely on the “no passes” issue.

          I’m not sure about the “flakey” question. Perhaps she might have said something like “My family history was crappy, so I can’t really control how I feel and act sometimes.” But I don’t think she ever would have said, “I’m going to cheat and there’s nothing I can do to stop myself.” She felt like I didn’t love her/wasn’t interested in her, and so gradually went looking for something else. I guess there’s a kind of entitlement in there. But once DDay came, she was very remorseful and upset. At that point there was no claim of entitlement.

          How are you doing (Besides noisy kids)?

          • Sarah P.

            Hi Nearly Normal,
            Glad to hear things are going well for you and your wife. That is excellent news! I sure hope you two are able to create a marriage that is even better than before.

            How am I doing? Do you want the “American version” or do want the “real version?”

            The American version: “Everything is just peachy keen. Life is perfect and life is a bed of roses. Every. Single. Day! Thanks for asking!”

            The real version:

            Life has been full of lemons. I am attempting to make lemonade out of them. Life has often been a bed of THORNS. You know, because I am a real person, a mom with two kids, and a wife. My oldest has been riding a suicidal roller coaster for nearly two years, but the worst is over. He is home-schooled and when he has his moments, he and I go and sit alone together and talk until the feeling passes. This is a cake walk compared to what was happening in July-August of 2018. My son heard a voice in his head that told him to cut his arms. Sometimes a woman’s face would pop into his head telling him to kill himself. I was the one who had to put the knives away and walk by his side constantly while my husband ignored it. If you are wondering if there was “spiritual warfare” (that was directed against me and my kids), you would be 100% right. This was verified by a detective; it’s not speculation. My son stopped cutting in late September 2018. I was also unusually ill between Jan 2018 and Sept 2018. (The detective verified my illness came from the same source). And my autistic child started seeing shadows everywhere. That also went away in late Sept 2018. (Yes, the detective verified it also came from the same source/people throwing shade my way). We are still alive. For any readers who want to know what religion I associate myself with, I believe in Judeo-Christianity and study Judaism and Christianity. But, I also study Buddism, some Hindu thought, and Taoism. I consider myself spiritual, but in the end, everything goes back to the One God of Christianity and Judaism. That’s the real version of how I have been doing. I had to learn the hard lesson that spiritual warfare is real. Prior to this experience with spiritual warfare, I didn’t believe in such things. My thinking was too logical to believe people in this day and age used intentional, malicious, spiritual warfare; their intent was to have me and my kids dead so this person could waltz right on in. Yes, these people exist. No, she did not succeed.

            My kids are fine for now, my health is getting A LOT better, and Doug, Linda, and I are planning for the future … like conferences in Hawaii. But not the boring kind. The building is located poolside among tropical landscaping and waterfalls. I plan to have a huge spread full of gourmet food, meat fresh (or veggie burgers and veggie sausages) off the grill because there are barbecues there, there will be lots of pillows, and blankets, and sitting in circles on the floor, meditation, calming music, and lots of healing, using mind-body-spirit techniques. The first seminar will be open only to betrayed women. (I will have something separate for betrayed men and probably a third one for couples). Then, we will go swim with dolphins and do other interesting things in the evening. No boring, gray conference room for me! That’s not how I do things. I believe in comfort, healing, authentic connection, and awe-inspiring experiences. So, if anyone wants to come, let me know.

            I will also set time aside for people to see me one-on-one privately in Hawaii, after the conference, if they wish. There is nothing like having deep therapy on a beach.

            Yes, it will be affordable for everyone and Doug and Linda are always open to setting up payment plans.

            So, I am emerging from a time of great darkness, but emerging as a stronger person. Hopefully that will be reflected in whatever healing work I can do for folks who read this site.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn676-fLq7I

            Big Hugs,
            Sarah

            • Exercisegrace

              Sarah I got chills when I read your comment about spiritual warfare. I’ve been researching this very thing lately. Would you be willing to email me? I would love to hear more about how you battled this. Gracefortoday56@gmail.com

            • leaningonhope

              Holy cow, Sarah, that was a very serious battle…so sorry you and your family had to endure such a thing.

              I’d come to Hawaii…

            • Nearly Normal

              Glad you are in a better place, Sarah.

              Know what it’s like to struggle with a suicidal son.

              God bless your continued journey.

    • Sarah P.

      Ps- Sorry for typos. I have NOISY kids sitting around me and it doesn’t lend itself to proof-reading.

    • Exercisegrace

      My husband and I met in high school and married right after college. Today we are in our mid-fifties. In all these years, my husband has never indulged in alcohol. Why? His father was an alcoholic and he never wanted to take a chance. He never wanted to visit that particular hell on his own family. So he made a choice. A proactive, intentional choice to protect his family (even before we became a family!). Could he have and the occasional beer or glass of wine without becoming an alcoholic? Certainly. But he felt it was a potential slippery slope he never wanted to set so much as one foot onto.

      Affairs are exactly the same. They don’t just “happen”. It isn’t “a choice” to have an affair. It’s a thousand small choices. It’s a thousand lines crossed that get progressively bigger. At some point the soon-to-be-cheater becomes aware s/he isn’t “just friends” with a coworker. They realize they are starting to lie about who they had lunch with because it’s the third time this week they’ve gone out to lunch alone with their friend of the opposite sex, and their spouse would not be comfortable with that. Or maybe they lie about about who they are texting because they realize they text their “friend” nearly 24/7. From there they begin to delete texts, because their spouse “wouldn’t understand” that they aren’t really flirting, they are just friends! At some point the line is well and truly crossed, and they know full well things are being said that shouldn’t be said. They KNOW where this is headed. My husband admitted he and his whore “made out” on probably ten different occasions before she claimed to have forgotten some work documents at home, and would be like to “ride along” at lunch time to go get them with her. CHOICES. Hundreds of chances to stop and say NO. This is wrong. This will destroy my family, this will label me for life.

      Cheaters want so badly (perhaps even more than the betrayed!) to find a reason, a cause, a genetic predisposition! Shift the blame, it wasn’t me, I couldn’t help it, it was fate, it was unstoppable, it was destiny…….it all boils down to them making a self-gratifying choice to escape life for a bit, take the easy way out, all the while assuming they will NEVER get caught so why not?

      • Soul Mate

        Exercise Grace,
        Right on Sister! On my DDAY my husband told me over and over that he never intended on leaving me, that he loved me and only me. He told me if I left that he would find me and bring me home or if I kicked him out he would sleep in the driveway in the car. He told me I’m the best thing that has ever happened in his life and he was an idiot for ever doing what he did. He told me that he wanted the EA to end and didn’t now how to do it for fear I’d find out or he would lose his job and ultimately he lost his job. In the end he believed that the only way to end it is if I DID find out and help him to end it. The skank took care of that to by writing me a letter and sending it me at me work.

        My husband had suffered many events in his life prior to his indiscretion. And there was a lot going on in our family that I was trying to handle (and hid from him, a lot) and because my husband was always my rock I assumed he was naturally on board. But little did I know, while I was suffering, he was dealing with his own demons.

        I was also going through menopause and with that came a thyroid issue which caused my whole body to change. Weight gain, hot flashes, irritability, no desire for sex. In the meantime H suffering ED, was developing a severe dependence on alcohol, lying to me about how much he was drinking and hiding his depression (“he said his life had no meaning”) and his resentment of the dynamics playing out in our family household with a son (Iraq war veteran) suffering PTSD and his family living with us. My son and his wife were both very abusive to me and everyone else in our family but that’s another story in and of itself. However I hid a lot of what was happening from my husband because I didn’t want to burden him and was afraid for my grandchildren’s welfare.

        My H never, not once blamed me for his indiscretion. He immediately took responsibility. He told me that he never loved the skank (coworker) in fact she became a huge burden for him at work as she wouldn’t layoff when he had told her numerous times to do. But she had more power than him as she was his Case Manager and trainer and he was a contractor so they worked together closely.

        The one question I have yet to have clearly answered is the WHY question. The only answer he has ever given me is that “he was weak”. He has also, told me he doesn’t know how it happened. “It was a Fog!” It was the classic friends first, then moved to sexting while drunk. Her inviting him to a hotel and he refusing. As I’ve become educated in this whole affair thing I see a pattern in what happened. She, dumpy, middle aged, lonely and bored, never married. No family except a sister. She had given up a child at birth. A typical disease carrying slut who in his account “was easy”. Yes she was a spouse poacher, a succubus, a leach and I’d bet a sociopath. He said that she was the only person who supported him at work. No one else validated his efforts which I truly believe she validated his thoughts and antagonized his behavior at work as he came to resent the advice of other coworkers who were his friends for years. She even told him they didn’t like her and she didn’t know why. She even stepped in between one of his long time friends and competed on a lot of levels to separate them as I’m finding out more and more the dynamics that played out in her sick little slut games. She loved to control, to take. In the meantime playing the mouse that was afraid of everyone and need to be protected from the boogey men, but would talk to my H every morning on the phone while he waited for the train and have no problem that he would hang up with her, and call me to wake me for work, then call her back! Who in their right mind does that! In the meantime I watched my husband go from a confident, productive, well liked caring man at home, socially and at work to a man who had nothing but resentment, explosive outbursts, paranoia, meanness and negative attitude towards everything and everyone and all dynamics playing out around him. He angrily complained about work and his bosses and colleagues every day. He drank almost nightly. Always at home. He stopped socializing with anyone and would seclude himself. I can just imagine how that negativity oozed out at work. When I asked what the skank said about certain occurrences at the time, did she validate his feelings, what did she say? He said that she did agree with him, validated that he was right, encouraged him to voice negative opinions of others, talk nasty about bosses and coworkers. I now believe that she was sowing those seeds of descent into his head to separate him from others at work and then turning around and validating his feelings about it to gain emotional power and control over him, yes I do. And I believe that she thought once she succeeded in isolating him from his coworkers, she could achieve the same with his family. Total control of his emotions. A sick game to destroy Him and she almost did. Thoughts of suicide he did express many times. Well she was wrong,………FAILED!

        Yes, every step a person takes will lead them down a black hole of despair if that’s what they choose to do. And sometimes weakness, depression and vulnerability causes a person to make very bad decisions. My H has admitted that what he did was a HUGE mistake that he states “was a nightmare” and “he will regret that the rest of his life” and that he “will do whatever it takes to make it up to me”.

        He came out of “the fog/hell” on DDay, and expressed his relief that “it was finally over”. Not that I knew about the EA, but that “it was over”. He has a new job in which he is validated for the man I know him to be. With awards and bonuses I see the clarity in his eyes slowly shine true. He is moving back to the beautiful confident masculine man I know him to be. I do believe that what he did, his choice, hurt him more than anyone else. I saw the repercussions play out in his fall from grace. And I know now that he truly regrets it.
        Time for forgiveness. To let go. That her goal was to destroy him, intentionally or not. And My goal will never be that!

        My son and family no longer live with us and they are struggling but figuring things out on their own. My son has been going to therapy and his wife needs to go too. But that’s another painful story I struggle with daily.

        19 months post DDAY I and my husband are working things out. And clarity is awakening in me daily. And with clarity comes the bonding and the love needed to forgive and let go of truly destructive choices.

        As I write this, he is texting me teddy bear hugs from work.

        All I can say is, from the very beginning, DDay, my husband has clung to ME. Needed ME. Expressed his need in so many ways I can’t count. Holds me tightly every night. Communicates with me constantly and is ever present. People make mistakes/bad choices. Especially when they are vulnerable and depressed. And I’ve learned that men are truly vulnerable. They need forgiveness. Just as our children do, we do too. The worst mistake at this point, I believe, is too allow a “mistake” to end what was meant to be. Our Love and our Joy and our Life together! The worst choice anyone can make, is to waste one more second allowing the leach to suck anymore life out of either of us!

        Peace

        • WhoKnows

          Soul Mate,

          Everything you wrote resonated deeply with me. I am so happy for you that you and your husband are working this out. It is a miracle that he has turned back into the “beautiful confident masculine man”, and you are the maker of that miracle! If there is a meaning to all of the pain we suffered through, this must be it!

          The worst mistake at this point, I believe, is too allow a “mistake” to end what was meant to be. Our Love and our Joy and our Life together! The worst choice anyone can make, is to waste one more second allowing the leach to suck anymore life out of either of us! — well said! And I feel a little jealous that you are at a point that you know what is meant to be. I wish I could get there one day too.

          Another interesting point you brought up is how the OW validated your H’s negativity so that she can better control him by isolating him. The more depressed he is, the more he would rely on her, wouldn’t he? These people stay together to weaken each other so that they have nowhere else to go to feel accepted. My H also said the biggest reason for his A is the “validation” he received from the OW. It is funny that he needed to feel validated so much because deep down he knew he was doing the wrong thing and he didn’t deserve any validation for the positions he was holding. If someone knows he is doing the right thing and he doesn’t need to be validated so much because he will have this self validation that comes from deep within. He knew when he said his true thoughts aloud, put his view on the table, 99 out of 100 people would not agree with him, and so the OW was the special “only” one to validate him. By validating his bad, irresponsible, cold behaviors, OW turned him into a worse and more depressed person over time, and he lost his job too eventually. Also, after the DDay, it was clear the OW was only paying lip service. The things that she validated him with, she was doing the exact opposite things, taking the exact opposite actions, yet she kept telling him she agreed with his views. I don’t know how he could reconcile the actions she took vs. the things she said and kept living in his bubble. The funniest one is that she stated from the onset that she was not the kind of the person to have carry on an affair, that was just not HER, yet the A went on for 3 years. She also encouraged my H not to participate in my kids’ activities because most of those were “unnecessary” (another validation to his view) yet her kids’ activities were double in quantity. She told my H she did not marry her H (as old as her dad) for greencard, then it must be for love and that must be why she was having the A to her love to her H. I do not know how these people can put these stories together, keep a straight face saying these and get the other person to buy into these joke stories. I guess as long as he feels “validated” he can buy into whatever trash to keep him in that fantasy world.

          • Soul Mate

            Hi WhoKnows,

            Yes the parasite will validate and encourage his negative behavior and do the opposite.
            It’s odd but very true. However, they do it because they get validation of their power over our H that they will respond to them no matter what, all the while pretending they are innocent little mouses that need a mans protection. Once they know they can manipulate those type of men at work, next comes the happy home life and the unsuspecting wife, kids,grand kids, social life. A much more formidable challenge. Now she’s having some real fun! One thing is absolutely certain is that these parasites are very jealous of the wives and families of these men. They validate themselves by assuming it is the wives fault their husband is cheating every time.
            And they actually think THEY are the better women. It’s truly sickening and not worth your tears.
            My husband was in such a state at the time he met her his self esteem was in the gutter and that’s where he met her, IN THE GUTTER. He started a job that was already a cesspool of questionable people. He was treated unfairly at that job for sure. But it was very unlike him to act out to that extend when treated that way. I was constantly noticing at that time his uncharacteristic behavior. He turned aggressive towards his work colleagues and bosses. My husband is a professional. Never in the almost 30 years we have been married had I seen him act that way and nothing I could say or do to bring his aggression to his attention would help. He would progressively get worse.

            Obviously I understand now. The skank was validating and egging him on.

            One more thing;

            It’s typical skank talk to tell the husband that “it’s not in their (the skanks)nature to carry on an affair” Or “they never did that before”. They’ll say that while their grabbing them by the Balls and sucking on their face! They will act as innocent as a virgin while raping you and your family through him. They will throw in the soul mate , true love, best friend you name it to win her game. Very typical. They will also tell their coworkers/good women they “already have a boyfriend” and “how dare they ask that question” when they start asking what the hell is she doing skanking around with your husband at work.

            It’s all in the game my Dear. I’ve seen it with my own eyes played out many times in my own work place. It’s ugly. It stinks for everyone involved.

            I hope that your Husband and you come to a place of peace and reconciliation. Over time you will be able to tell. Give him and yourself that time. It will be painful and very confusing I won’t lie. But it will get better I promise. With or with out him. Right now you are fresh out of the gate. My advice to you is take care of yourself first. Love yourself! Express your boundaries and hold to them with your husband.

            And never forget, you are worth it!

            Peace!

            • WhoKnows

              You are spot on! When I went through some of the stuff that the skank wrote, questions she posed, it almost always started with “I have never done this, so …” “It’s the first time I do this blah blah” “I’m new to … so” “I have recently started to look for …” Incredibly innocent and needs rescue! I could laugh my ass off if my H were her first affair target. He may be the first to take bait alright since she is too ugly and weighs less than 90-pound shortie mouse. In a group chat, she kept complimenting other men “you are so nice!” “you are so brave!” “You are so smart to know how to do that!”. And this was in a public group with my H included. Some men got so uncomfortable that they did not respond and kept the distance, but there were also men who were fools to take the bait like my H. Rotting things attract flies what can I say?

      • Nearly Normal

        Exercisegrace,

        That’s a perfect description of how many little choices progressively build. It was almost exactly that way with my wife.

      • weddingbelle

        You’re absolutely right on, Exercisegrace. I’m sick of hearing all the “reasons” for why people act in callous and maybe abusive ways. They aren’t “reasons”, they’re “excuses” plain and simple.

    • leaningonhope

      Hi Sarah, I just commented in the last couple of days to the post called “he left me”, had a conversation with kittypone and trying hard.
      And I brought up that my h has been diagnosed with a brain impairment, adhd. And I believe there are other impairments present but yet undiagnosed. One of his biggest “hang-ups” is distractibility and impulsivity. Impulsive speech, spending, getting off track, etc.
      Another is hyper-focus on what’s “now” vs “not now”- meaning any time other than “now”. One book described the focus as limited to what can be seen through a paper towel tube. Can’t see the bigger picture. Can’t remember (or doesn’t matter) what happened 2 minutes or 2 weeks, etc, ago and can’t consider what could, should, or would happen in the future, immediate or long-term.
      Any thoughts as to how this (brain disorders) could be a contributor to the “pre-disposition” to cheating? Because it also has to do with dopamine, etc, release.
      He was married once before and his ex cheated and broke up the marriage. And during the marriage he would flirt with the local barista at the coffee shop where he was a regular customer. Then he dated her shortly after he and his ex separated. (They weren’t officially divorced yet.)
      His ea while married to me was with a co-worker with whom he shared office space on occasion. I definitely saw the flirtatious behavior and “friendly banter” when I would visit him at work. Then the texting. I saw other patterns of behavior, too, there’s a pattern in the type of women he seems to be attracted to….
      I don’t know. I’m just really wondering. If there is not a willingness to be introspective and learn more about oneself, then it seems likely that the behavior could repeat itself. Just like with drinking, getting on and falling off “the wagon”.

      Another comment. The betrayed spouse in the article you sited is me. I was healthy! Then when we started having unresolved major relational issues, and the stress was constant- daily- I got hurt, I stopped exercising, I got sick, I couldn’t sleep, it had a snowball effect. I really need to regain my health! And, if I choose to stay in this marriage, and the adhd therapy doesn’t take hold and lasting change doesn’t take place, then the chaos will be constant….

      • Sarah P.

        Hi LearningHope,

        While brain disorders can cause a lot of trouble, there is still help. How was his brain impairment diagnosed? Your husband needs to get an MRI and a CAT scan to see if he has any brain injuries due to external events like getting hit on the head. He also needs to see a physiatrist who can administer the MMPI. Until all that is done, you don’t know the exact nature of his brain impairment. Has he done any of these things and were were you present to review the medical record and speak with the doctor? If not, your husband can say ANYTHING.

        As for betrayed women, getting physically ill due to infidelity is common. This happens so often that it has made its way into the research articles that I read. Infidelity can turn a normally healthy woman into someone who becomes very physically ill. I have seen it mentioned in studies, but I have seen commenters mention it on the public blog (in the comments section) throughout the years.
        You are certainly not alone in that. It’s an absolutely maddening experience to be a high-functioning woman who experiences her health spiral out of control due to an affair. I am so sorry.

        I wanted to mention something about impulsivity. It has to do with impulsivity in general and not about your husband.

        It’s hard to be married to an impulsive person because you never know what comes next. It may not be an affair. It may be something like having an impulsive partner cash out half of their retirement and buy into a pyramid scheme (at the bottom of the pyramid). Or maybe that tax return gets spent at the casino because an impulsive person is sure it’s their lucky day. Or maybe an impulsive person will buy that $2,000 pair of designer shoes because their life will just end if they don’t have those shoes. People with impulsivity issues – male or female – will be really difficult to live with. If you are dating them, they may seem exciting because they will fly you to Vegas for the weekend. They might make you feel alive because they are always chasing the next thing. But, they make terrible marriage partners. Am I saying someone should divorce an impulsive person?

        I don’t tell people to leave or stay. I am here to give folks information and advice so they can make their decisions. Life is not black and white. It can be in some cases and in other cases it may not be. I like to arm people with information. so they can see if any of it applied to them and their situation.

        But, I am never here to judge; just here to exchange ideas, support, and keep the conversation going hoping that someone, somewhere, will benefit from all of this.

        Big hugs,
        Sarah

        • leaningonhope

          Hi Sarah,
          He has not had a brain scan. I’ve read about having scans done as a means of diagnosis and I really want him to have one, but so far he isn’t going any further with diagnoses. The evaluation was performed by a psychologist, I was present for the first session, intake, lots of questions, asking about his childhood. He went alone for the 4 hours of testing, which was more talking, computer tests, IQ tests, executive function tests, all with the psychologist observing him. I was there for the last session and results. When she gave him the final diagnosis of mild adhd I about had a cow- but I kept my composure. Inside my head I was letting her have it. She asked for feedback. I told her I thought he was under diagnosed. That she’s only known him for 6 hours, that there’s so much more to the story, how could she possibly know in that short of time. I said all this- respectfully- in his presence, which I surprised myself for being bold enough to speak, and he was shocked that I said so much.

          The testing did find some impairments. But I really want him to have a brain scan. It would show if he was on the autism spectrum. Which I suspect. Have you heard of cassandra syndrome?

          And, yes, it is very hard to be married to an impulsive person.

          The distractability and impulsivity has been so detrimental and destructive to our lives, his boys’ lives, our marriage, our finances, our home (literally), his work ethic, his family notices it, they get annoyed by it, his mother apologized to me for it, blaming herself for maybe “raising him that way”. It’s occurrence is daily, sometimes hourly, on a very small scale to a very grand, impactful scale.
          He is a project manager in construction by profession. He is very good at building. We started a whole-house remodel without a plan and with a loose budget. He quit his job to work on the house full time. I tried to insist on treating our house like he treats his jobs but he wouldn’t do it. So we started. Six years later the house is half torn apart, inside and out, it’s a 2,000 sq ft house and I live in about 800 sq ft. He didn’t work for 2 full years. We lived off of the construction loan and my savings for
          4-1/2 years before he finally starting earning enough income to be a fair contributor again. There’s also a half-built shed out back. I know our neighbors can’t stand us. We’ve gotten letters from our township, informing us of being in violation of ordinances for the various junk piles (he was constantly bringing stuff home) and unfinished projects. This is when my health started failing.

          So, seemingly needless to say, our home life became very, VERY stressful for an extended period of time. Besides our relationship. It carried over into every facet of life. Relationships with his sons, his ex (she’s a bully-that’s a whole other complication), my adult children, friends, my work (ability to work)…..it touched everything. I started sleeping in the couch. Tried to get counsel from our pastor. That was a fiasco. So then he starts confiding in this woman at his work…and she was also separated from her h at the time, so the opportunity to commiserate together was prime.
          And, he DID try to spend half of “his” retirement savings! Funny you should mention that… I blew a gasket, made him send it back. But he still took a significant hit on the fees charged for the withdrawal.
          I say “his” because after we split our finances last summer, he decided that it’s “his” now and he can do whatever he wants with “his” money and I can’t say anything about it.
          So how does that jive with me saving for retirement? So we split our finances. So now, I’ve been consistently, thinking long-term, been contributing to a retirement savings; and he’s spending everything he makes, taking out loans, not paying off credit cards, not contributing to “our” retirement….and he actually does try to spend half of his retirement savings. So what the heck is that? What am I supposed to do with that?? What will retirement look like? Will I/we even be able to retire? (If we make it that far.)
          These could be considered rhetorical questions.
          Thank you, Sarah. For all of your articles and comments.

    • Teresa

      Hi
      I suppose it’s the sudden need for adventure, when everything had been going so smoothly.
      My kids were healthy and happy, both of us had high incomes, we travelled sometimes for work (sometimes together), we looked ahead for good promotions. We just had a comfortable life.
      And he had to have get involved in temptation when his postgrad student (43 years old with 3 kids) came to submit her thesis form and related the sad story of her divorce with her unemployed husband. My OH just had to be the knight in shining armour for his divorcee student, when he should have been comforting me at home. Yes, I think that was my husband’s reason for starting the emotional affair. A little need for adventure 🙁
      I am still scarred after 4 months.

      • Sarah P.

        Teresa,
        Did he stop the affair?

        • teresa

          Yes. After she rejected him. But I caught him peeking at her FB page 3 weeks ago. He hasn’t contacted her ever since, though. I know this as I personally emailed her and I also check his phone every so often.

          You can’t help feeling insecure when you have been betrayed. But I am trying to move on. Last Friday I wrote all my feelings on a piece of paper, tore it into pieces and threw them away. I have to move on for the sake of my health and my kids. I have a career, I am slim and pretty and I know I can take care of myself financially.

      • Deeper Thought

        Teresa,
        my story is almost similar to yours. My D-day was 3.5 months ago, I thought I’ve recovered but there are days when I mostly cry over the pain, feeling unsure if I’m ever gonna heal.

        Our marriage life was wonderful before my H started an EA with a woman from his past. They were reconnected last year on Facebook and exchanged phone numbers. They were excessively texting each other for over 10 months (about 4000 texts per month in average). She was complaining about her H, how she’s not happy in her marriage and my H wanted to be the knight in the shining armor for her. He has a tendency for it. Back then I did not suspect it was an EA but I could sense that something was off. Even after I spoke up about the “friendship”, how it made me feel uncomfortable, he brushed me off, saying that men and women can be friends, even when they’re married. Later on, I found out that it was not normal or regular or innocent friendship. The OW wanted to have my H for herself, after she pretended to be my friend. My H liked the ego boost and didn’t stop it even though he said he had no feelings for her. Those were just excuses to justify the EA.

        He did stop all contacts after D-day. We went on MC for 6 sessions. Counseling helped half the time. I’m still struggling with recovery because I have to do it by myself. My H is still very defensive about the EA. We also tried to work on communication problems we have on the sessions. Now I realize that we might have moved too soon. We should have dealt with the EA thoroughly before we moved on to other problems in the marriage. We’ve used up the free sessions from the insurance but I think I need more meetings and maybe a different therapist since I feel like I don’t get much help with recovering and healing. I hate to bring that up for discussion cause I never know what kind of reaction I will get from my H.

        It’s really hard going through all of this on my own. I was afraid of being alone, but sometimes I do want to have my own space to be in peace. On the other hand, I don’t want to give up too soon without fighting for our 11 years of marriage. Most advice I hear, I should work on dealing with betrayal for at least 4 months before deciding if it’s best to stay together or go different ways. So I’m still fighting now. I was an optimistic person before the EA, now I’m more of a realist. I’m doing the best I can and we will see where it takes us.

        I’m wishing you the best, Teresa.

    • Teresa

      Deeper Thought
      I wish I could hug you right now. We seem to have the same story.
      I’ve been married for 20 years and have 4 kids. This is the first major affair he became involved in with a woman who seemed to reciprocate. I’m relieved she rejected him in the end. I’m hoping she’d get married to her boyfriend really soon (she met him in October and she started replying my husband’s messages in February). For me, I just had to let go and move on after 4 months as I started a session with a psychiatrist. As I was waiting in the psy unit lounge, I met an elderly guy (70 something) who was telling me about his wife, whom he’d accompany to that unit every month ‘for her medication’. I decided I didn’t want to end up like that elderly guy’s wife. I don’t want to end up on medication.
      I find that talking to some friends helped me a little bit, and the fact that I have a career also helps, as I can focus on other things besides the EA. I’ve also upgraded myself a bit. I learned to do my own make-up, and I learned to dress up in a more stylish way. I’m trying to make myself more positive, but of course the triggers still come every now and then. Everything they discussed in their messages, their future plans…ughh. That will take years to go away.

      • Deeper Thought

        I would give you a big hug back, Teresa. I could really use any kind hug now, even a virtual one will do.

        I admire your strength and determination. It is nice to have someone to talk through your pain. I would also imagine a career can be something you can focus on. So far, I only told my sister about my H’s EA. She lives overseas, so I didn’t put much detail on it. It helped a little. I find reading the articles and comments on this side has been very enlightening and encouraging. It is such a great help talking to other people who went through the same thing.

        Did you get any help from your H while moving on? I’m working on my recovery by myself, even though we’re still together. I didn’t get much details on their hundreds of daily texts, other than the general stuffs or the sensitive ones we talked about during counseling session. I don’t know what’s worse for me, knowing or not knowing the details. All I know is what he told me. I don’t even know if it’s true. Now I think it’s worse not knowing at all. It makes it almost impossible to move on.

        We’re terrible at communicating our problems, it makes me feel very pessimistic about discussing important stuffs. Like whether he learned anything from his EA. From what it looks like, he doesn’t seem to. Just the other day, he tried to be “a shoulder to cry on” for his female friend on Facebook. I really want to call him out on that, but that woman brushed him off. I’m worried it’s gonna be another EA. I just hate going through his defensiveness again if I try talking about it. But the last time I let things slide, the EA happened. I will at least try to voice my worries instead of keeping them all bottled up. Or worse yet, things happen exactly the way I predicted just because I was afraid to speak up.

        • Teresa

          Dear Deeper Thought
          I’m afraid my husband refuses to go to any kind of counselling. As for me, I’ve attended one with a religious officer and three sessions with counselors. In my husband’s view, he has stopped contacting the OW so there is nothing more to discuss.
          I did not get to read their texts as my husband had deleted them, but he told me some of the texts’ content, in an effort to clear everything. The good thing is, I know they didn’t go much further than sending texts. The bad thing is, they exchanged so many details about me and the kids. Not to mention my husband’s plan of helping her get a transfer to a school closer to her house. And many other things 🙁
          At the moment I am also torn between keeping things bottled up or voicing them out. Even small things make me upset. For example, he didn’t LIKE any of my Facebook posts for almost 4 days. But he actually took the time to LIKE a female friend’s Facebook posts (4 of them) for the past 4 days. When I mentioned this to him, he said he didn’t notice my posts. Only this morning he LIKED one of my posts, and this happened because I nagged him last night. Seriously I don’t want to sound like an old hag but if I don’t remind him of these things, he will keep on ignoring my posts. Yes, I am scarred and still scared that he will end up with someone else 🙁

          • Deeper Thought

            Please stay strong, Teresa.

            Maybe like me, being pretty close to D-day, we are still in the hyper-vigilant mode. At least, I’m speaking for myself. I can’t help being suspicious about whatever my H is doing. When I found something wrong, he just lashed out at me instead discussing what was wrong. Another reason why I keep quiet about stuffs that are bothering me.

            But, let’s stay strong. I hope in time we will get through all of this and move on with our heads held up high. Big hugs.

    • Sarah P.

      Hi ExerciseGrace,
      I emailed you, so let me know if you did not get it.

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