Why married people cheat...

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Registered: 03-27-2003
Why married people cheat...
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Mon, 04-21-2003 - 9:17am
Gt, you have asked this question a few times, maybe we could all throw out some ideas and that might help you. To me it seems so clear, but maybe that is because I am married and have cheated.

There are many different types of people ofcourse and thus many different reasons, but for myself and many it went like this...

First there is the factor of not getting your needs met in the marriage. Second there is the factor of being willing to cheat. Third, someone to cheat with. One of these may be very strong, the others weaker, but they have to add up enough for you to be willing to do it right? I would have to say I had a big need for emotional connection. With two little children I don't see my friends like I used to and my husband isn't really the 'talking' type, so I felt very lonely. I never saw myself cheating - maybe I could picture a stolen kiss, but NEVER would I have believed I would have had sex with another man, especially my neighbour. But I guess under the right conditions I did have it in me. The right conditions as it turned out was a close friend who persued me relentlessly with an amazing amount of patience and persistence.

I don't think I'll ever come across another man who would put the effort in to chasing me like he did, but I still don't have my needs met in my marriage - in fact it feels worse than ever, so I know I'm still very vulnerable. I'm also going to church and trying to reinforce my values that cheating is wrong that is helping too.

As I said though, those are the three factors as I see them. A man could have a happy marriage, but have 0 regard for being faithful, have a job where he meets many women and bingo. Or an unhappy marriage, wants to be faithful, but runs into a lost love - and just can't resist being with her.

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Avatar for guardedticker
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Mon, 04-21-2003 - 11:11am
Well since this subject matter relates to the MM in my life, perhaps I will talk more about him. He knew how much I loved him in our youth and he also knew that our love had never died when we reunited. He was totally enamored with me, told me as much. So just imagine having to live without the one you truly love and always have for over twenty years only to find each other and see how terribly screwed up each other's lives had become by living apart. I had been through not one, but two failed marriages because I married for the wrong reasons and definitely the wrong men. He had married his W right out of high school on the rebound from us and within just a few years found she had been having an affair. He tried to make his M work after separating for a year and what he has been through to try to make it work, I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. A man is sexually driven in relationships. Sex is their number one need and they also need to know that they are pleasing to their spouse. They want to be able to be the "man" of the house so to speak. And to try only to visualize her with this OM everytime was more than he could bear. Then we find each other only to find that we are still so connected after all the years apart. And what made matters worse was that the reason we were separated in our youth to begin with was because his father moved his mother back to where she was from in order to DIVORCE her. I have also had to help him through the pain he experienced as a Senior in high school having to leave all his friends only so his family could fall apart too. So I know where he is coming from, what he has been through and why he still has problems in keeping true to his marriage today. I also know that without the proper counseling, he isn't going to heal from it either. Talk about being hard to let go of someone hurting so much and for so long. We were like two trains getting ready to collide and that is what we did. Oh and to speak of the sort of man he is, when we were together, we didn't have sex even though we were both RIGHT THERE because we both want that to happen when it can be right...no third party lurking in the room.

I hope this rendition of my saga will give some of you a little better understanding of why this has been so hard for me to go through and let go of...but I did it. And the ONLY thing that brought me through it was the love I have for myself and God because I knew if I stayed in it, I would never be the same again. It wasn't until I turned it all over to God that I truly began to have painless days because I was doing the RIGHT THING by ending it. But then it took me telling the MM that if he wanted to hurt me, he would continue. If he wanted to love me, he had to let me go until he is free to be together.

Thanks Crystal for caring enough to post what you did. It helps to see why people who are married will do what they do and why.

Hugs,

GT

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Registered: 03-05-2003
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 11:25am
Gt:

Thank you for sharing your story. It is such a tragedy in my eyes that you two are not together but it is a story I know all to well. It is so funny how things in life work out the way they do. My first love was with a man I met when I was very young and in college. It was very intense and I was too young to appreciate the wonderful person he was and broke his heart. He too married right after our break up on the re-bound. We are now back in contact with each other as friends. I love and care way too much about him for it to be anything more than a friendship. Because I would never hurt him again the way I did all those years ago. (he is not the man I had my affair with...that was a chance meeting with someone I was physically attracted too)...

You are such a strong and spiritual woman GT and that will get you through anything, but you are also human and if you need to rant, rave or cry I'm here for you!!

You take care of yourself,

Karry

Karry - - who is learning to embrace life on her own raising her miracle, Carley Paige

Avatar for crystal_clr
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Mon, 04-21-2003 - 11:28am
GT-

You have a lot of wisdom and you seem to already have the answers to the questions you're asking. But maybe I'm wrong about that, its always different when its your own situation.

I think that when married people stay with partners they aren't completely happy with, it comes down to obligation, comfort (fear of the unknown), sometimes the complete picture isn't so bad, just the actual marriage. Thats how it is in my case. I have a good life. I'm happy. But no, everything is not tickety boo.

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Mon, 04-21-2003 - 11:49am
Oh I came to find out Crystal that there was more to this story. None of us can sit here and think we truly have a handle on what is going on with a MM's life when we only hear one side of the story. And I know the MM in my life is no perfect angel. My struggle has everything to do with a conflict of emotions. I love him with all my heart, always have and will, but to truly love him, I had to let him go. The conflict is also letting go of the desire to be with him which was so very difficult considering we had already spent over twenty years apart. That's where my anger comes from ladies. But when it is all said and done, all any of us can do is control ourselves. So by having faith that God has my future in mind and it will be a happy one, it makes it so much easier to go on and put forth the effort to go on.

When you love someone, you truly want them to be happy. But the MM is responsible for his own happiness, just like I am responsible for my own. So by focusing on the people who are in my life who do love me makes all the difference in the world.

GT

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Mon, 04-21-2003 - 12:03pm
Thanks Karry for everything! I feel so stuck in a numb stage, certainly not crying much over it anymore and actually experiencing many more good days than bad ones, but when the emotions do surface, they are usually always angry ones. I am very angry at him for many reasons and I know that the only way I will be able to ever truly process them will be to see him face to face and tell him. But that wouldn't serve any purpose.

I've even had a time where we took months away from the "emotional" connection and truly worked on being just friends. He was a great friend to me but when it is all said and done, neither of us could just leave our connection alone. So even though we fell back into that trap, I got to find out how much he had missed me and thought of me so it isn't so bad now because I believe we will always miss one another. We always have, that's just it. I am angry with him because his marital situation doesn't seem to change even though we are apart and if he wants to keep his marriage together so badly, then I don't understand why he isn't seeing any progress. It all just seems pointless but then again, I know how a lot of men are. The only priority in their life is taking care of their family by working and providing. I happen to know his priority isn't his marriage relationship and that frustrates the heck out of me. Oh well, it is his problem and I just know that my life is easier to live without his problems in it. So I left it with him a few months ago that if he finds himself divorced to look me up and if I am still free then, fine. Otherwise, you know how it goes. If you snooze, you often lose. We'll see I suppose.

Hugs,

GT

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Registered: 03-05-2003
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 2:13pm
Gt:

You are also a smart woman!! You should be so proud of yourself for not allowing yourself to be manipulated and taken for granted. You are what we should strive for!! I know that you are hurting but you are not willing to sacrifice your self respect to a love that is not completely yours. I think that your OM is missing out on something wonderful.

Through your posts I've realized what I put my OM through and have found a great deal of respect for his being able to walk away from me while he still had his self respect intact not to mention his heart!!

Sometimes posts on this board are hard to read but through them I have realized that I have toyed with someones emotions and that the smartest thing he probably could've done for both of us is to have walked away.

I look forward to more of your insight GT....even if it does hurt sometimes....it's something I need to feel in order to be a better person...the person I know I can be!!

I am hoping that things are going to work out for the best for you and with God on your side I'm sure they will!!

Karry

Karry - - who is learning to embrace life on her own raising her miracle, Carley Paige

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 4:08pm
Crystal,

I think your reasons for why married people cheat are right on-those 3 factors have to be in place. I think the most obvious factors are the existance of another person to cheat with, and unmet needs in the marriage. The part about being willing to cheat is interesting to me, because like you the thought never crossed my mind until the opportunity presented itself. Only later did I realize that I was in fact a person willing to cheat. I think that most people have no idea what they are getting themselves into though, and if they did they might think twice about having an affair. I couldn't even begin to imagine the mess I was creating for myself when this whole thing started.

I also agree that when an affair begins its about the sex for many many men. I'm sure it was about the sex for my MM, and I think he suprised himself by getting so emotionally involved.

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Mon, 04-21-2003 - 9:59pm
Well said, Crystal. But I would rearrange the order as follows:

First there is the factor of not getting your needs met in the marriage. YEARS worth of unmet needs and doing every thing you can think of to fix your marriage.

Second, someone to cheat with. I would venture to say none of us married women were "on the prowl". You just happen to meet someone who seems to understand where you are coming from. Someone who puts the idea in your head that you are still attractive. Someone who has the nerve nerve to express interest in you knowing full well that you are married. Someone who is discreet and patiently waits for your response.

Third, the willingness to cheat. You are so miserable that you are willing to forsake God to commit the unforgivable sin, because you feel God has already forsaken you. You remember what a prude you used to be, how you used to judge girls who were "easy". But now you are ready to fall off your pedestal. You hope and pray that the affair is a bitter disappointment so you will want to run back into your husband's arms, but it doesn't work out that way. The affair is more thrilling than you ever dreamed possible. You know the OM is just in it for fun and games, that he doesn't want a serious relationship, but for now that's good enough. So you live a double life, as a temporary measure, while you try to figure out what to do next.

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Tue, 04-22-2003 - 7:57am
RTB... your answer is incredible and I feel like I wrote it myself. I just had to say that, and please allow me to rehash a few things you said because... WOW.

You pointed out that probably none of us were "on the prowl" - we met men who had the gall to not only find us attractive (when we probably hadn't been told that for a long time if we're married) but also who had the NERVE to patiently yet persistently pursue an obviously married woman.

And you said we felt abandoned by God so we abandoned our beliefs and values. So true. And we became one of "those women" that we used to judge so harshly... I was a virgin when I met my H... I held "making love" as something sacred... and when I tumbled off my self-imposed pedestal with XMM, I fell far and I fell hard.

Finally, you said something that I said, out loud, before I gave in to my XMM - I said that I wanted it to be awful with him. I did NOT want it to live up to the fantasy I'd built up in my mind, because I didn't believe it could be like that. And that if it was a disappointment like I hoped, I could just FINALLY be free of him and return to my "normal" life. But of course that wasn't the case - it WAS every bit as good as I had imagined it... and even though I knew XMM had only physical desire for me and it wasn't about love in his mind, I no longer believed anything my mother told me about love and sex - I only knew that I had to have more of this man. And I had to find SOME way to break the addiction, but in the meantime I would just live this double life and hope that we'd get it out of our systems soon... I WANTED to not want him... but that still hasn't happened... but at least somehow I have managed to drag myself out of addiction...

Great answers for why (how?) married women cheat...

Glinda

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Tue, 04-22-2003 - 8:17am
Did I write this???? This is so my story!! Years of unmet needs, someone to make me feel that I am still attractive, and to give me those words I so longed to hear "I Love You". Being so miserable that it just feels so good to be wanted by a man many years younger than me. Being angry at God for so many years ..... and so thankful that He is still there for me now.

What a confusing, frustrating, wonderful, thrilling, terrible thing to go through!!

Thank you so much for writing this!

K

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