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To feel that one of the nastiest things about cheating partners is...

(25 Posts)
lifechanger Mon 22-Aug-11 08:45:45

... the way they engineer the distress and anger of their spouses while they are conducting the affair, so they feel they have an excuse for doing it.

I am fortunately years past all that now and very happy with a new dp, but there is yet another poor woman on relationships who has had to put up with a cold, unpleasant man for ages.

It has brought back memories of actually being made to feel guilty when my ex's affair was discovered for what was basically a hurt and confused response to his changing attitude towards me, fired only by what I now know was his affair. You know, I still feel a bit angry about that, all these years later when everything else has faded.

Oh and the lies were worse - and less forgivable - than the infidelity.

lifechanger Mon 22-Aug-11 08:48:50

Sorry, I'm not sure I was bing very clear there. I mean the period before you discover the affair, when he is cold, withdrawn, lacking in affection and cross with you all the time. Then uses your response to this to persuade himself he has a right to happines with someone else when his own wife is such a misery.

EuphemiaMcGonagall Mon 22-Aug-11 08:54:26

It's hideous when you realise you've been lied to by someone you love and trust. You feel horrible: undesirable, rejected, stupid.

My ex-H did this to me nearly 20 years ago and it's only in the last few years that I've been able to look back fondly on the good times we had together.

I've never cheated on anyone in my life - it's so cowardly! Adults should be able to sort out their problems, without lining up the next partner ready for when the time comes to jump.

halohasslipped Mon 22-Aug-11 08:54:53

It sounds like you haven't come to terms with the infidelity. Is there a remote chance that things weren't right between you before the affair?

Dozer Mon 22-Aug-11 08:56:34

YANBU, know what you mean, and it is really destructive to self-esteem. Doubt that most people who have affairs realise they do this though.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 22-Aug-11 08:57:59

YANBU. I think my dh had an emotional affair a few years back. He denies any wrong doing and says he was just friends with a colleague. Yep, friends that you text at all hours of the day and night! In that time, I felt uncared for, as if my feelings were of no consequence at all.

He had been suffering from depression and I think this triggered a personality change. I think that the person he is now would never do it to me, but when I look back I remember a side of him that - I am angry about it too. People who have affairs become totally selfish cunts.

lifechanger Mon 22-Aug-11 09:03:16

halohasslipped Yes, very likely things were flawed before the affair, as in many relationships work might have been needed. Or maybe he could have left if he was that unhappy. (He said not - he claimed that it was only because he wanted to try 'a different cunt' for a change.

I am over the infidelity and him - that happened years ago, and now we get along fine with our respective partners, spending family times like graduations and weddings all together no problem. I don't know why it makes me angry - not really for myself any more, but for the confused, hurt women who come onto the relationships board being treated like shit - you can almost always predict that he IS having the affair (and this is usually true as you find out later in the thread.) You know it because of that familar pattern of withdrawal, picking fights, deliberately hurting and provoking the woman who is mother to his children and loves him just so he can justify in his head his infidelities.

It's the unfairness.

I shouldn't read the relationship boards.

sad

fedupofnamechanging Mon 22-Aug-11 09:09:51

I wish I'd known about MN years ago. It gives the women on the relationships board a place to go to make sense of what is initially very confusing behaviour.

mousesma Mon 22-Aug-11 09:09:56

Agree, it is selfish cowardly behaviour designed to make the cheater pass the buck for the affair onto their poor unwitting partner.

I know people fall out of love and not all relationships are meant to last forever but if that's the case then be honest and leave and stop hedging your bets with another secret partner.

ShoutyHamster Mon 22-Aug-11 09:27:01

I don't think that people who have affairs become totally selfish...I think that they are. And awful though going through that is, the one thing it does do is let you know exactly the calibre of person you are dealing with. Selfish and cowardly.

I agree with the OP. There seem to be few people who don't adopt that MO - the engineering of the relationship, the deliberate poisoning of things so that they can give themselves permission to have the affair.

It only highlights just how much of a liar the affair-haver is. To live within their world and feel ok, they even have to lie to themselves. Because at some level they know it's all false: that nothing has really changed in their relationship, that it's them that are behaving badly.

I would say to everyone who has been through that pain - take comfort in the fact that at least you had that role, and weren't unfortunate enough to be the person on the other side - the person with so little backbone, so little moral fibre, so little courage, so little regard for love and loyalty and affection and everything that makes relationships really happy, that they chose to behave that way. I feel sad and sorry for people who have affairs, as well as despising those choices. I'd rather be the cheated on.

And when you think what must be at the heart of the relationship that comes after, the one with the OW/OM - god, who would choose that? Knowing that the one you're whispering sweet nothings to has it in them to treat the last person they 'cherished' in that way like absolute shit? <shudder> - give me singledom any day.

I'ts easy to talk like this when you're not the one in the middle of it - but I'd say to anyone going through that pain - it's horribly unfair, but remind yourself what is happening now is that the person looking you in the eye and lying to you is doing is revealing their failings to you, and giving you the chance to walk away from the inferior love that they represent. Because that's what they are - inferior. And for every sad tale on here there is a follow up - of people who have gone through that pain and come out the other side, moving on to genuinely good strong relationships, happy that they have left behind the 'failure' - the affair-monger!

lifechanger Mon 22-Aug-11 09:32:04

Me too, karma. the boards have helped me to understand how very typical the whole sequence of events was when my 20 year marriage broke up. I'm proud I got through it the way I did, but I also know I would have done even better had I had the sort of advice and support people get on here.

My current partner, like me, might not be perfect in EVERY way, but he is completely honest and incapable of being otherwise. I know this relationship might not be forever, I've leart never to asume that (although we both want it to be so) but one thing I am sure of is that if he wants out he'd tell me, I'd be the first to know. That gave me the confidence to get involved again, and it's great.

lifechanger Mon 22-Aug-11 09:35:05

Brilliant post, Shoutyhamster.

yaimee Mon 22-Aug-11 09:44:50

When my long term partner was having an affair, I KNEW that there was something going on between him and the other woman but I couldn't and I was made to feel that I was being unreasonable for asking for them not to see each other because apparently they had been friends for a long time and she was going through a hard time etc etc, so I let it continue, making myself believe that DP was right and that I was just being paranoid. Lo and behold, they were fucking each other for months behind my back and muggins had actually been allowing him to go out and do it. And on top of that, they'd been going out with our mutual friends while I was at work and no one had said a thing.
So yes, you're right, he made me feel like I was the one in the wrong, a stupid paranoid person who was trying to break up a friendship. I don't know how he could live with himself.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 22-Aug-11 09:56:43

That's awful yaimee.

I think you have hit the nail on the head Shoutyhamster

AnyFucker Mon 22-Aug-11 10:04:00

shoutyhamster (and OP) nailed it

so many of these cheating men, and women, follow a script that to outsiders is so very easy to read

to someone on the receiving end? Not so easy...until the scales fall from your eyes and the benefit of hindsight gives you the understanding you struggled so hard for at the time

so, to those who don't think cheating on a long term partner is such a big deal ?

it is, and for me this is why it would be an absolute deal breaker

elastamum Mon 22-Aug-11 10:10:14

Agree entirely. My ex was horrible to me for ages and then blamed me for 'making' him look elsewhere - I remember to this day him standing there and listing all my faults as his justification for his affairs and for leaving us. I have moved on from there and I am much happier in my new relationship, but deep down I still think he is a tosser

lifechanger Mon 22-Aug-11 10:13:26

The script then can go on like this:

Having made spouse feel responsible for driving poor partner into arms of another by being miserable (i.e. not coping with witdrawal of love and changes in attitude shown by cheating spouse) things come to a head.

Cheating partner, in midst of high lust leaves or goes to spare room.

Other W/M realises this is no longer a nice bit of escapism backs off, or cheating spouse realises that s/he is about to lose so much it is frightening.

Cheating spouse engineers return to relationship, usually on their terms, with spouse who is pathetically greatful initially that their world is not after all going to be turned upside down, their children traumatised.

This situation goes on for any length of time until it happens again/spouse sees sense and finds strength to move on.

(Disclaimer: Maybe very rarely, things do improve and relationship is mended. Maybe.)

halohasslipped Mon 22-Aug-11 10:24:07

My poor girlfriend is stuck with little more than a sex addict. He seems to shag anyone and everyone. All the time. It's beyond 'having affairs'. They aren't married, have a child, and have just bought a big house together. Crazy thing is that i have never met two people more suited in terms of (other) interests and conversation.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 22-Aug-11 10:42:14

I think it is possible for anyone to be tempted by an affair - being married doesn't mean you are never attracted to anyone else, ever again and I think when you have to deal with real,everyday problems at home that weak people can be more likely to fall for the grass is greener pov.

I think some people once they are caught out do have a moment of clarity and realise what they are risking, for the illusion of something better, and it is an illusion. I think those people stand a chance of getting the marriage back on track.

Others are just continuously heartless, selfish people who don't give a toss about the devastation they cause and will always justify their actions to themselves and others by saying the affair was 'true love' and all that bollocks.

While it is possible to fall in love while in a relationship with someone else, there is an element of choice in that and it is not a get out of jail free card, for treating your spouse badly.

patrickmore79 Sat 18-Feb-17 01:04:16

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ElvishArchdruid Sat 18-Feb-17 01:59:00

I think you need to let go of that grief some how, as much as you want to, you can't change the past, or their behaviour.

It is possible to reopen old wounds, when you read or engage with someone, who is having experienced you once had. I lot of people call it triggering.

Cheating is an awful thing, some people quite happily exist in polyamorous relationships. With reference to cheating, the said person is going to project it into the current partner being cheated on, over accepting ownership that they're to blame.

Maybe think about avoiding such posts for a while, till you can safely say it won't affect you.

KoalaDownUnder Sat 18-Feb-17 02:14:38

Excellent post, OP.

I could not agree with you more.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Sat 18-Feb-17 02:26:04

Reported

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Sat 18-Feb-17 02:27:53

Zombie thread bumped by spam.

LoveMyLittleSuperhero Sat 18-Feb-17 02:32:39

think you need to let go of that grief some how
Hopefully in the last over 5 years op has! Reported the spam

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