Another perspective

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2010
Another perspective
Fri, 04-09-2010 - 2:17pm

While reading threads about recovery here, I see a lot of discussion about the WS needing to change and work to fix the problems that caused them to think it was okay to have an A.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2010
Fri, 04-09-2010 - 3:00pm

I think that you miss a very important fact when you soley focus on what went wrong in the M to create an environment for the WS to have an A. No one has the right to expose their marital partner to diseases and involve them in an open M without their spouse's permission. Having an A shows the greatest sense of entitlement than anything else in the M. Each person in the M has the right if not obligation to let the other know when they are exposing them to potential danger. No one should put their spouse in a situation where they are sharing them unless they have their spouse' permission. My M was bad before my H had his A but he had no right bringing in a third party into our M without my permission. My revenge A was also wrong and I didn't have the right to do that to my H even though I considered our M to be over.

If M ppl decide to rebuild, yes they should examine their M thoroughly and attempt to create a stronger union but the WS has a greater responsibility to determine how he/she felt so entitled that they would put their spouse in an open M without their permission. I am sure that if the potential WS comes to their partner and let them know that they are considering picking up a girlfriend/boyfriend because they are not getting what they need in the M, then that person knows and has the right as to whether he/she wants to share their spouse. Instead of sneaking around pretending to be honest and loyal yet deceiving their spouse. The WS needs to understand that an A is never the answer and the WS needs to determine how they can be so deceptive. How can they make their spouse feel like they are in a relationship of two and yet lying and cheating with another woman.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Fri, 04-09-2010 - 3:05pm

We are giving you the advice that you need right now.

The first rule in rebuilding is to go NO Contact with the OM or OW. If they can not do that then you can not rebuild. It is impossible to rebuild with just one willing person. Your wife is not willing.

Now if you came and said that she went no contact and you two are trying to piece back your relationship then I would tell you to sit down and discuss in detail what makes a good marriage. She gives her ideas about what a good marriage is and then you give your ideas about what a good marriage is. If she wants more romance then she discusses building romance into the marriage. If you need more adventure or couple time then you talk about that. Then you implement plans that build that into the marriage. That would include datenights, romantic getaways, and other gestures of love.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2010
Fri, 04-09-2010 - 3:37pm

I wasn't saying I should be focusing on working on our marriage issues now, while she's still having an affair or anything like that. I was just saying, all the focus of discussions here seem to be that the faithful spouse is completely innocent.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Fri, 04-09-2010 - 3:45pm

Oh you did not ruffle my feather they are tough as nails.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2006
Fri, 04-09-2010 - 5:33pm

I think you make a good point.

It is easy as the faithful spouse to focus all the energy on the affair and avoid or ignore the very real problems that must have been present in the marriage that led up to the affair. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in any way saying that having an affair is justified by a troubled marriage - I believe that the decision to have an affair (and it is a DECISION, no matter how "swept-away" the WS feels by it) that to have an affair is to choose a path of zero integrity. There is absolutely something wrong with a person who makes that choice.

However, once the WS is back in the picture and is honestly devoted to making the relationship successful - then it is imperative to work on healing the problems in the marriage, whatever they may have been. The faithful spouse has a responsibility to be accountable for their contribution to the marriage and do a ton of hard, hard work to improve things. The WS has even more hard work to do to make things right from the affair AND to be accountable for their part in the failure of the marriage relationship.

Even if the relationship cannot be healed, it would be a wasted opportunity if the faithful spouse did not use the situation, as crappy as it is, to take a good hard look at oneself and learn and grow from what happened. It isn't fair that it happened, it isn't right that it happened, but it did happen. That can be a wake-up call for personal growth. Whether I stay with my husband or not, I'll be darned if I don't come out the other end of this a better, stronger, wiser person. I don't want to be bitter and sad the rest of my life! I want to figure this out and take away whatever lessons I can.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2010
Fri, 04-09-2010 - 6:02pm
Absolutely - that's what we are doing in MC, howEVER - the WS is the one that overstepped the boundaries and broke the vows and somehow thought it was "OK" to do this, the BS didn't go there, so while they both have to work on it, the WS has much work to do since they crossed the line.....
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2006
Fri, 04-09-2010 - 8:22pm

I don’t come here very often anymore, because we are almost 4 years out from the time of my H’s A, and DDay, a few months after the A began. It all happened quite quickly really, over the summer of 2006. However, your point touched a nerve, and I felt the need to address it.

Often, the marriage is one of the vulnerabilities that may help lead to an A, but that is still not the REASON that one spouse embarks on that path. After all, you were in the same “unhappy” M, but did you look to an A as a method of improving YOUR life? Your W had plenty of acceptable alternatives... come to you to work together to improve the R, ask for MC, ask for a trial separation, or divorce if she was that dissatisfied. Instead she chose to have an A, and it seems, to continue that behavior even now. How on earth is her A going to help the relationship you BOTH are in?

An A is a very selfish way to make the WS feel better... and that sense of entitlement over the other spouse’s needs is a HUGE issue that has to be addressed. AND... THAT has NOTHING to do with whether the M was happy or not. It’s all about the WS.

Also, just as often, affairs are happening in good marriages where the spouses are still very close. That was my H and I. After a quarter of a century together my H and I were still having a solid sex life, we were thoughtful to each other, playful and affectionate. Still very much in love. His A devastated me, because I thought a good M insulated you from infidelity... WRONG. My H’s vulnerabilities had little or nothing to do with the strength of our union. In our mid-forties, he was struggling with some health issues, he hated his job, we had a pain-in-the-butt teenage son plus two younger sons one with ADHD, and my H had self esteem issues so deep that he was a cup with a hole in it. All the support and love I gave him just trickled away. He also had some unreasonable expectations of my role in his emotional well being, so he projected some of his general unhappiness with life as somehow my fault. His A literally had NOTHING to do with me at all. His justifications were made up in his own twisted mind.

Therefore, other than recovering from the most painful and traumatic event in MY life, caused by my H’s actions, there was very little I had to do to improve my behavior in our M.

Ironically, the actual changes in me recovering from my H’s A, are probably somewhat unproductive in our M. I treat my H lovingly, as I always have, but now there is always a part of me held back. There is a somewhat selfish self protection. I am still here in the M, because it is better than the alternative and my H has done more than I could have ever expected in changing himself to become a better man. However, now that I know the level of treachery he was capable of, I will never trust that he is not capable of it again. I am very aware that at any moment, if I have even the slightest whiff of infidelity, I am done. I will not rebuild twice. Therefore, the closeness I once felt with him may never return completely. I mourn that loss, and it inhibits me from growing completely together with him again.

No M is perfect, and there is always room for improvement, from both parties. That is always a part of rebuilding, even when the M was good. More so, if the M was troubled. There have definitely been changes in both of us, most of all in my H. We are both working on the M more, taking time to nurture our R, instead of having a child centered family. We both can sense when we are losing touch, when life overwhelms us as a couple, and we make time for each other in a way we neglected before. But truly, the WS is definitely the one MOST responsible for putting their adult panties on, growing up, and getting to the core of why they felt that an A was justifiable behavior.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2009
Sat, 04-10-2010 - 6:42pm

Thanks MLB!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-1998
Sat, 04-10-2010 - 8:15pm


There can be no repairing of a relationship until some semblance of trust has been reestablished. Trust can not be established until the WS understand what led him/her to such betrayal. Couples grow apart-mature couples recognize this, acknowledge the problem and work to fix it. Individuals who do not have the communication skills, maturity or 'balls' to address what is wrong fall into an irrational thought system and irrationally rationalize their way to what feels like an 'easy fix'.

Relationships should always be worked on, but to expect a BS to work on it while in the traumatic throws of healing from such betrayal is simply trying to deflect the light off of the 'real problem' of the moment- The WS's behavior.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Sun, 04-11-2010 - 12:50am
That's exactly right, You could try to change any behaviors on your part which you feel may have contributed to the affair, or try to be the perfect wife. BUT if he has not dealt with his own issues of insecurity, depression, needing constant or more attention than you can give him, wanting to be adored, or whatever lead to his affair then these same issues will always be there and I feel will possibly contribute to another affair down the road.