I have read tens of books on infidelity, paying close attention to percentages and trying to figure odds on recurring adultery within the marriage.
I agree with some posters here that studies are highly subjective....really have to know the who was in the study group.
I am no expert, just read a lot.
Here is what I believe somewhere between 30 and 80 percent of all marriages will have adultery be a part of them. That is a HUGE range, but think it has to be large as many affairs either go unreported or they survive and never are spoke of. So that means on the low end 1 in 3, and on the high end 3 in 4 will have adultery.
Not great odds....but not 100% either. Didn't we all think OUR marriages stood 100% chance of NEVER having adultery enter them?
Don't let this freak you out more.
I have read many books...written by Doctors, with case studies throughout....also written by clergymen and average people who have survived infidelity.
What has become clear to me is that WS have choices...they chose badly in the past. But if they have the desire to learn from their mistakes.....almost none of them repeat their adulterous ways. That is not to say all marriages survive adultery....but if a couple decides to D after the A, adultery is not an option. See?
What I believe is that, looking at statistics (and assuming adultery is NOT a deal breaker for the BS), the odds are GREATLY in your favor that a WS will not have another affair IF the couple is willing to process through this offensive act together. Your WS has been given an opportunity to gain wisdom....sounds like he is at least willing to take a few steps down a new path. You have some staying power because you are here...and I can see it in your post.
Your fWH NOW knows better, and CAN choose to do better. This is where a counselor can really help out....speaking from experience, my counselor was able to help me examine myself in areas I did not even know existed in me. She has done the same for my wife. I believe in good counseling.
If you guys decide not to process this together (or just one of you decides this)....D is an option.
If D happens, your next relationship has greater odds of having adultery enter it then your existing marriage does....just by looking at the statistics.
I mean for this to be encouraging......I am sorry if it sounds like Vegas betting advice.
M is no game. This is the big league...the greatest test of a relationship between two humans.
In my sitch, I believe my wife simply did not know better....her affair did creep into her life. Sure, there was a point when it was a conscious decision and controlling, driving force in her life....a force that smothered all other aspects of her life out. BUT initially she did not know better.
I, too, have learned things about me that make me want to do better.
It is this combined internal drive of two people that CAN propel our marriages from the ditch they are to a new and improved road.
Definitely find a new counselor. I would guess she has issues that would not allow her to be the help you need right now. How could she make a statement like that without even meeting your husband. Our counselor observed us for several sessions before making any statements regarding our chances.
Long post....hang in there....don't panic on this 100% comment. It is bogus.
God be with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 8:58 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]
Pre-A...my wife nor I believed this would happen to us. No boundaries...A happened.
Post-A...my wife and I believe it could happen tomorrow. Boundaries...A much less likely to happen.
You cant prepare for danger if you never suspect danger is lurking!
You have both had your eyes opened to the dangers to your marriage....4 eyes are better then two.
God be with you.
I generally ask for citations of statistics and for sources of quotes, too.
Here are some that are supposedly from a peer-reviewed journal, but I haven't tracked down the sources, so I don't know anything about the methods used, and 'social science' methods sometimes are hard to comprehend. http://www.statisticbrain.com/infidelity-statistics/
I, too, have a hard time understanding her purpose in citing those numbers, and they're so questionable that I have a hard time understanding why she believes them.
But it sounds very much worth while asking her what she meant and how she can help you, since she believes what you want is impossible.
I'd find an IC who is supportive of trying to R.
Fortunately I had an IC who focused on helping me pull the pieces of me back together...not on saving or tossing out my marriage. I am pretty sure she had an opinion on that but I don't think she felt it was her role as my IC. I think it is great that your H is in IC also...wish mine would have gone, but maybe an IC that is not connected to your H would be better for you. I did not feel comfortable with my 1st IC, so only saw him a few times. Then, after a few months, I was such a basket case, I tried one referred by a friend and continued seeing her every week, then every few weeks, then monthly for about a year. You may want to try another IC. You are very early in this process and have a lot to sort through.
I seriously wondered for a minute if this was common knowledge the rest of the world was privy to, but I had never heard of -- 100%!!!
That would mean all the 3+A people in R here -- all the 3+A reconciliation stories I've sought out for inspiration -- all the pain -- all the everything......for what?
For a sure fire repeat offense?
I kept thinking to myself all the way home..."WOW! All these people who also dig in their heels, fight through the ugly, go to IC/MC...people who also want to survive this disaster --> you mean to tell me they KNOW there's a 100% chance that it's going to happen again, and they still stay? WTH is wrong with me for hearing that and wanting to run for my life?!?!?!?!"
I feel so much calmer now. Thank you for the validation!
blakesteele -- thank you a zillion times over for your thoughtful analytic analysis!
Time really does heal.
EA D-Day May 2008
PA D-Day May 7,2010 (same A)
Recovery numbers are pretty dismal. Yet, he so far, has "beaten the odds."
However, that doesn't mean that I can go on assuming he'll stay sober continually for the next 50 years.
It does mean, that I now know what my husband is fully capable of. And I need to be able to manage the risks of staying with him.
I would switch counselors.
What I mean to say is that you don't necessarily want your therapist to agree with you all the time. You absolutely want a therapist who is sympathetic and kind to you, supportive and wise, thoughtful and sharp. But sometimes being kind is to tell it like it is. Your therapist *may* simply be trying not to sugar-coat the reality of your situation: a past history of multiple affairs is a very good predictor of a future of multiple affairs. It is that simple.
I am someone who wants more than anything to believe that my WW will decide to change her behavior. She is, after all, the person whom I love more than anyone else in the world. What I need from my therapist is someone who can help me to see the reality of the situation for what it is -- kindly, thoughtfully, caringly, but also firmly and honestly. My therapist would not be helping me if she were not firm and honest about how she sees the reality of the situation. And that is the key: I know it is how my therapist sees the situation, and that she has a different perspective on my life than I could possibly have. Providing me with a different, often clearer perspective is only helpful. Ultimately it is my choice to do with the information what I will: my therapist knows that, and I know that.
Absolutely nothing in life is 100%. Nothing.
Accept death, naturally.
Accepting you inability to control the situation is the first step in working through it.
Change IC now.
If I trusted stats I would not have M'd in the first place. I am reconciled. My W has not cheated again. So not %100. Yet.
"Predictions are difficult, especially ones about the future" - Niels Bohr
Accept death, naturally.
Wert! I'm immortal until proven otherwise!
It's true though- it's one of the few certainties and I would say change your IC. Negativity breeds negativity. You need someone to help you through not fire off statistics.
With human beings nothing (bar above) is certain.
[This message edited by idiot85 at 10:50 AM, September 12th (Thursday)]
Alea iacta est...
Accept death, naturally.
cake or death?
But sometimes being kind is to tell it like it is. Your therapist *may* simply be trying not to sugar-coat the reality of your situation: a past history of multiple affairs is a very good predictor of a future of multiple affairs. It is that simple.
I agree with 84. I think she is preparing you for an uphill battle. I wouldn't quit her just yet.
That said, I do think it matters whether those A's were all before any kind of dday or after. A serial cheater could go for yrs without ever being caught so the behavior becomes habit forming. However, once being caught, and therefore forced to work on themselves and developing better coping skills, I believe they could change, but I still think the odds are lower than for someone who only cheated once. Someone who cheats, is caught, and then cheats again....I believe their odds go down with every subsequent A. And why not? They've gotten away with it so far.
But I'm no expert, I'm only basing my opinion on several years of reading here at SI and many books about infidelity.
We have a bit if a unique situation in that my husband has been seeing her partner...who is also her husband.
It could go either way...
Not only are they experienced in working/communicating with each other while helping couples both individually and jointly, but they are also a married couple who can attest to the real life challenges that exist in marriage and longevity.
One doesn't want to upset the other when we begin digging through our history. They're each loyal to the client they've built a rapport with, but no matter how professional they tow the line, there's an understanding that it becomes personal if one disagrees with the other and holds their ground.
Right now I feel like everything we're dealing with is based on chances. There's a chance history will repeat itself. There's a chance it won't. There's a chance this therapy arrangement could be a blessing. There's a chance it could be a curse. There's a chance I'll wake up tomorrow. There's a chance I won't.
My husband is REALLY happy with his IC experience (he's been going for about 4-5 weeks), so I don't want to upset the apple cart by leaving without giving it a fair chance.
By the same token, I don't want to be in a situation where I feel I must constantly defend my position.
I want to support my husband the best way I can to become the friend, lover, and man that I know he is capable of.
I want to build a marriage that will foster a safe, loving environment for each of us, and our children.
I want to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary one day, and look back at this time as just being a bump in the road.
Of those things, I am 100% sure.
That being said and the unique situation of the counselors I would say maybe she was trying to just put reality right up in your face, so that you know what the gig is. What to expect, and how much work that has to be done to "beat those odds".
I would go into your next appointment, and flat out ask her what her point was in telling you that so abruptly. I would also ask her what she feels needs to happen in a relationship for it to heal from A. If you and her are on totally different pages, no point in wasting your time.
She may be a no nonesense, cut the crap type of therapist, and they are few in and far between from what I have seen. But she may just want you to really stop and think about what you really want. How your plan to get there.
I remember I went to IC exactly one time after Dday, the funny thing was it took about a month to get in, and I was already finding my strong, and had my plan in place. I had also found a ton of support here.
I gave him my story, and my plan, and he looked at me and said, ok so what do you want from me? I said I guess to know that I'm not crazy, and I've got my head on straight. He basically told me that I was doing well would be fine, and would be happy to tell me that each week. So needless to say I never went back.
I'm still mostly sane too.
I made my decision based on how badly WH wants this M and so far I see he wants to change. He doesn't want to lose me or the kids and he doesn't like the person he has become. My WH is at rock bottom right now, working his way back up.
I might look around at therapists, sometimes they aren't a good fit. I know our MC wasn't.