Think of the haters in your life as sandpaper; they’ll scratch you up time and time again but in the end you’re polished, smooth, and spotless..while they end up useless
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
In both cases, though, THEY made the choice to cheat. That fault lies with them.
DD(21), DS(18, PDD-NOS)
5 Furkids (3 Dogs, 2 Cats)
WXH (serial cheater, 12+ OW)
Legally married 18yrs, together 16.5yrs
Note: I edit often for typos/clarity.
I will say when I discovered that my current H had also cheated, I really did not have lasting thoughts there was "something wrong with me." Instead, I was thinking that "all men are horrible pigs and they are all cheaters." Of course that is not true either but in those early days, that was closer to my thought process.
I think saying our picker is broken has a bit of tendency to still claim the BS has more control than they do in most cases. You can pick well, but with time and circumstances in the future, you can't predict what might happen. It is a hard truth to swallow, but this is how I see it.
I'm in the same boat as you. I was engaged at 18, (knew him since I was 13) dated at 16. Engaged at 18- he cheated, OW called to tell me.
It took me 4 years to trust enough to let someone in. We married 3 years later. Had 6 pregnancies-4 surviving kids and 16 years together before I suspected anything was wrong. I had all the disrespect I could tolerate and told him to go to his parents for a week. We divorced 6 months later.
A year later I met a nice guy who's wife betrayed him, we were together 8 years when he admitted to an affair.
It IS my picker.
I never stopped dating. I have always been faithful dating one guy at a time. BUT I've never taken the time to rebalance myself by getting right with me. I always tried to do it while dating. The closest I came to being happy with myself was before I married XH. He turned out to be NPD - so what do I know!
In hindsight I can see that XH and XSO were both recently out of long term relationships when we started dating. I'm trying to find patterns so I can adjust my boundaries and narrow the choices for my picker.
My jerk XF is definitely NPD. No doubt about it. I didn't even know what that was until after WH cheated and I found SI. I read about NPD, and it was JXF to a T.
WH isn't NPD… he is very selfish, though. There isn't anything I can do about that.
It took me ten years after that divorce before I could feel like I could trust again and found my current WH. He is/was so unlike my first H that I often said my first marriage was just a test and that I had a REAL marriage with this man. Unfortunately, this marriage ended with infidelity too.
There must be something within me that leads me to broken men. This is something I must work on figuring out too.
Good luck (TXMommy) and thanks for bringing this topic up!!
I caught my first WH (10 year marriage, no kids)
in the act in our marital bed-----that ended that marriage. BTW, he went on to become a serial cheater, married several times after me & cheated on all of them.
I married my current WH (#2) because he presented himself to be the most honorable man I had ever met, with very high moral standards.
I was purposely looking for someone different from WH #1.
In fact, there were many things I was not happy about in this current marriage
(for example: where we lived, WH#2's FOO,which I compromised on because I thought current WH was worth the sacrifice, etc.)
that I put up with because I kept telling myself, "OK, I'm not happy with this specific thing, but at least he would never cheat on me."
Boy was I wrong.
I now realize that I never resolved some of the damage my self-esteem sustained from the first infidelity.
However, I have to agree with Bobbi_sue on this one.
You can pick well, but with time and circumstances in the future, you can't predict what might happen.
We have to face the facts in the world we live in, cheating is rampant. The chances of being cheated on are great, even in a new relationship or marriage, after being cheated on in a past relationship or marriage.