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11 year update

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steadychevy posted 4/24/2019 07:27 AM

For every rule there seems to be an exception. When "once a cheater, always a cheater" is stated examples can be cited that show that isn't true. But is that an exception or a rule of thumb? What the newly betrayed needs, IMO, is that it is a very tough and hard road to R and is only really possible when the WS goes all in hard. It's a positive recommendation, also IMO, that giving advise to a newly betrayed to gather information - lawyer, laws, etc.

It seems to me and is JMO that there seems to be a higher number than normal of betrayeds coming back now after having been betrayed again. I wonder in R how much is real R and how much is getting by because of kids, finances, age or some other factor and real R never occurs. I do believe there is real R but I'm not convinced it is a very high proportion. I think the newly betrayed needs to know the risks and effort and heartache for either D or R.

There is enough evidence, apparently, to justify the adage that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

NotTheManIwas posted 4/24/2019 07:34 AM

Interesting, at some point I've come to realize that this isn't even really a D vs. R debate. What's seeped through is the opinion of whether the cheater worthy of consideration is a rarity, or not. And MangledHeart's contention that demeaning cheaters is an affront to his late wife kind of highlights that. Totally get it. The man loves his wife.

So then, the real debate is about the disrespect accorded cheaters here.

And now we have a few xWaywards giving voice to another group being disrespected, and that's their BH's for having chosen to R. Man, it really is perception, yeah?

I'll say for myself as a BH that chose to stay with his cheater that her worthiness has little to do with my decision. If not for other compelling reasons, I'd have kicked her to the curb. And I do believe there are many Betrayed's like me. Our choice to stay is less an affirmation of our Cheater and certainly doesn't put us in a position to be riled when Cheaters are negatively characterized.

And, lastly, I'm interested in cocoplus5nuts' (as a scientist) take on that 2017 Psych Today article mentioned. Have you looked it over yet?

Striver posted 4/24/2019 07:48 AM

So then, the real debate is about the disrespect accorded cheaters here.

And now we have a few xWaywards giving voice to another group being disrespected, and that's their BH's for having chosen to R. Man, it really is perception, yeah?

Respect is an interesting topic. Because WS clearly do not respect BS. At least during A.

My ex does not respect me. Deep down, she does not respect anyone. There is this "Higher Than God" business that I think is the common thread in all cheaters. They wanted the forbidden fruit, and they took it. Can you come back from that and live with the mere mortals?

This is why I do not consider BS who R particularly virtuous. There is practicality. There is gut and personality type that will lead some BS to R. Both of those I understand. But marriage is a special status accorded someone. You needn't consider someone special who shits all over their special status.

irwinr89 posted 4/24/2019 07:51 AM

I am 6y out and so far R is good and we are mostly recovered, and a lot has happened during those years, health issues, loss of parents and things that have brought us closer together as a result of enduring them together.....the greatest R tool is to create as many new memories together as possible, positive ones preferably....because it is true the marriage before the A is dead and you are really building something new, no doubt about that.
That being said I don't really feel I can judge or recommend to anyone to choose R or D, because every relationship and it's dynamics are so different and unique that I don't feel qualified w enough knowledge to say do R or D.
What I am totally against is being abused by the cheater, continue to tolerate the cheating while discovered, being made plan B, or the cheater not willing to do hard difficult recovery work....that's a no no

cocoplus5nuts posted 4/24/2019 07:53 AM

R being available is not just an opinion. D being an option is not just an opinion. Saying that there is only one right answer is an opinion. Not only do generalizations not help, they are against the site guidelines.

There are BPs on here who refuse to even consider divorce, but continue to complain about how awful their Ms are with no chance of actual R. That is frustrating.

Bigger posted 4/24/2019 07:54 AM

Are you referring to the paper based on the study by Knop, Scott et al?
The one that followed about 1300 individuals for a long period (+5 years) and from that group had a sub-group of about 450 that had cheated in a past relationship and were now in a new (second) relationship? Of those 450 about 45% admitted that they had sex with someone other than their present partner in the last 3 months.

Even if we consider factors that the authors point out: Didn’t ask if the present relationship was monogamous. Didn’t ask how long the present relationship had been (the question was “in the last 3 months have you had…) and if we give ourselves that 45% of those that have once cheated were cheating again… It’s still not 100%. It’s 45% that cheated again within that time-frame, 55% that did not cheat again within that time-frame.

Statistically – based on that single survey – “Once a cheater always a cheater” is more likely to be wrong that right.
But basing on one survey would be dumb. Too many factors that aren’t clear and can vary such as what group were those 1300, social grouping, nationality, ethnicity, religion, background, age…

The infidelity statistic I find most disturbing is the one that points to a correlation to a once betrayed spouse being more likely to enter a new relationship with a person that is likely to cheat. It’s the same behavior that leads women from abusive relationships to seek out abusive husbands… THAT is a major concern IMHO and emphasizes a major factor in infidelity: It affects us and we ALL need help and guidance to recover.

Edie posted 4/24/2019 08:04 AM

MangledHeart's contention that demeaning cheaters is an affront to his late wife kind of highlights that. Totally get it. The man loves his wife.

So then, the real debate is about the disrespect accorded cheaters here.

Do you mean demeaning former waywards, NtMIW, not just cheaters in general? Am assuming that’s what you meant but wanted to check.

My understanding is that MH again was saying that to state once a cheater always a cheater demeaned DS, as she clearly did not remain one. Given the venting about waywards’ behaviour on SI, I don’t see any prohibition on ‘demeaning’ waywards/ cheaters, just a prohibition on generalisations that demean the former waywards by saying they will always be a cheater.

Not wishing to be pedantic, just thought it was an important distinction. Though I’m beginning to wonder if by ‘here’ you mean this thread, and the disrespect accorded to former waywards here, which makes more sense to me now. I guess the operative word is ‘former’. And I guess that’s the prefix some are not happy to use.

[This message edited by Edie at 8:08 AM, April 24th (Wednesday)]

cocoplus5nuts posted 4/24/2019 08:13 AM

Bigger beat me to it. I didn't find an article from 2017, but did find one from 2018 citing Knop, I believe. It concluded that 45% of previous cheaters do so again while 18% of non cheaters will eventually cheat. It says a cheater is 2 times more likely to cheat again. That's a far cry from 350 times likely. So, it would seem a slightly lower chance that a cheater will cheat again. But, as Bigger said, you can't rely on just one study and there are some flaws in it. One thing not mentioned was whether the cheaters were in the same relationship or a new one.

NotTheManIwas posted 4/24/2019 08:20 AM

Do you mean demeaning former waywards, NtMIW, not just cheaters in general? Am assuming that’s what you meant but wanted to check.

Ummm, Edie, not sure that I understand your question the way you've worded it.

Mine was a simple observation that the debate raging feels less about factions supporting D or R, and more about painting Cheaters (as a whole) as hopelessly, unlikely decent future partners.

ETA: Just realized the disconnect. Should have went on to say more specifically that it appears those that have successfully reconciled find painting Cheaters with broad-strokes offensive. This is where I think the debate truly is. Hence, the crux of it isn't really D or R.

[This message edited by NotTheManIwas at 8:27 AM, April 24th (Wednesday)]

cocoplus5nuts posted 4/24/2019 08:23 AM

You can find different statistics all over the place. A quick Google search found plenty. One 2018 survey (I forgot the website and my browser exits out of one page when I search for another) of 200 people stated that 36% admitted to infidelity. Most Ms remained in tact, but were not on good terms. However, most infidelity was not discovered, which means there was no attempt at R. More BHs were divorced than BWs, which supports my thoughts based on what I read here. Again, just one survey.

Edie posted 4/24/2019 08:24 AM

Mine was a simple observation that the debate raging feels less about factions supporting D or R, and more about painting Cheaters (as a whole) as hopelessly, unlikely decent future partners.

Thanks, NtMIW, that’s what I thought you were saying...just needed clarification.

I agree with you.

ETA: Just realized the disconnect. Should have went on to say more specifically that it appears those that have successfully reconciled find painting Cheaters with broad-strokes offensive. This is where I think the debate truly is. Hence, the crux of it isn't really D or R.

I think the crux is more on the word ‘former’. Not really about who is cavilling about the generalisation.

[This message edited by Edie at 8:35 AM, April 24th (Wednesday)]

timespent posted 4/24/2019 08:53 AM

Wow, jokes on me if I'm going through this whole shitshow of R in order to be considered "virtuous" by anyone, including myself. AS if BS don't have enough to deal with, now we can come on SI and have BSs arguing and judging each other. I guess it's respite from arguing IRL.

josiep posted 4/24/2019 08:54 AM

Divorce is ALWAYS the right choice. R sometimes is another valid choice. I think a WS gets very lucky when the BS doesn't leave immediately. Very lucky. The BS is in shock, hasn't gotten clarity on who this person they married is yet and still believes them to be who they thought they were, and is rarely in a position to just up and leave. Kids, finances, etc. If the BS remains in shock and hasn't the ability to leave for long enough, that gives a WS a chance to work on their crap and try to figure out how to become a decent human being. Then R might be possible. But D? That was always going to be an absolutely correct choice.

I have been reading and following this thread as a way to learn and try to have some understanding of the decisions that a BS has to make and how they find their way to those decisions. I never had any intention of posting a reply of any kind out of respect for every BS who has posted on this thread.

But, I can not and will not stay silent when comments like the above show any type of disrespect to my BH and the decisions he made on D-day and after.

He handled D-day with grace in himself, strength in his decisions and mercy towards me. He knew what he wanted and told me to fix my shit if I wanted it too. He knew with perfect clarity who he was offering the gift of R to and he did it anyway. He was in the perfect position to walk, grown kids, no financial issues, absolutely nothing was keeping him from D.

Except my BH saw a bigger picture, made from our years together, our family, how I grew up, what we had worked for, his behavior over the years and a future that he still wanted me in. He saw his wife and mother of his children as someone who was worth the chance at redemption and he saw her determination to be worthy. And that big picture was perfectly clear to him on D-day.

My BH was decisive and sure of those decisions on D-day to R without considering D, just as some BH are decisive and sure of their decision to D without considering R. Doesn't make either of them wrong, just different.

May I ask what point you are disagreeing with? She said divorce is always a right choice and R can also be a valid choice. I don't get what you disagree with in that. Especially since you agree with the point below:

I was actually going to ask how the Reconciled people know their present situation is better than if they'd divorced. I'm not saying it isn't but the point is, we don't know for sure and we can't know for sure. Josiep

You are right in that you don't and can't know for sure. But if you look at how many positive reconciliation stories there are compared to positive new beginning stories there are, it might help with the answer.

I hope you weren't serious with that response. You do realize that a very large percentage of the people who D did not choose the D, right? That they'd give anything to have had the chance to R?

Some of you who put on the cloak of being offended that not everyone is glorifying your superior life decisions will get your comeuppance because the final chapters of your lives haven't been written yet. I sincerely hope they stay wonderful because I wouldn't wish my pain on anyone.

MangledHeart posted 4/24/2019 08:59 AM

And MangledHeart's contention that demeaning cheaters is an affront to his late wife kind of highlights that. Totally get it. The man loves his wife.

I think you missed my point. My point is the generalization "once a cheater, always a cheater" is a false statement that has no place here, on this thread or on this website. While it may apply to some, it does not apply to ALL. It is a generalization and against the guidelines.

When it was stated that the label cheater should be applied for life I took it personally because DS is no longer here to defend herself. I should have expanded that to include the other former wayward members that have done the work and are now better people for it.

josiep posted 4/24/2019 09:17 AM

My point is the generalization "once a cheater, always a cheater" is a false statement that has no place here, on this thread or on this website. While it may apply to some, it does not apply to ALL. It is a generalization and against the guidelines.

I would classify the expression in the same way as "once an addict, always an addict." They became commonly accepted truths and it's very hard to change the perception of the masses.

Just like eggs got a bad rap during the days of panic over high cholesterol and has been proven to have been a falsehood, it continues to be widely accepted as true.

I respect and admire everything you have done, MH and I so wish I'd had a chance to know you and your wife. But I believe the people who still believe the old adage are in need of having their hearts changed. There are people who believe we can change them by making rules, passing laws, punishing, chastising, belittling, calling out, etc. I think you've observed that every time this conversation arises, it goes down the same path and nothing changes. Maybe those who are more settled could find a different approach to those who are still struggling to make sense of it all. And maybe, just maybe, the direction of their thinking might change. And that would be such a gift to them.

And isn't that why we're all here? To help each grow and heal and become whole again?

It's like the old "you can't legislate morality." And yet some people insist we can. We can legislate behavior but no legislation can force a person to think something is immoral if they believe it isn't. Forbidding certain phrases can keep the words off S.I. but knowing what little I do about you, I'm guessing you'd prefer to guide a few people to understand that phrase is an old wives tale of a stereotype.

ETA: I hit submit too soon and hadn't written the last part yet.

2nd edit: I was trying to change how this sounds because I can't quite come up with the words I want but I'm going to just let it post as it is. But please understand I'm not trying to insult or chide anyone. And I guess I'm trying to play peacemaker and have spoken to #1 but that sounds corny and I just don't have a way with words like so many of you.

Peace. I think it's time for me to go clean the bathroom floors or something constructive.

[This message edited by josiep at 9:32 AM, April 24th (Wednesday)]

RubixCubed posted 4/24/2019 09:24 AM


Is a murderer not a murderer just because they stopped killing?
Is a rapist not a rapist because they stopped raping?

If you have committed the act, you get the label.

[This message edited by RubixCubed at 9:24 AM, April 24th (Wednesday)]

HouseOfPlane posted 4/24/2019 09:30 AM

I wonder in R how much is real R and how much is getting by because of kids, finances, age or some other factor and real R never occurs.
You could replace your "R" with "marriage" and it would apply to many of the marriages I've seen. A lot of settling for mediocre going on out there.

This is kind of what brought me here years ago. I watched all of these marriages crumble around me (sister, sister in law, other sister in law, friends too many to count) that all appeared rock solid for decades. I listen to my mom gripe about my dad endlessly.

My marriage has outlasted them all. Go figure.

sisoon posted 4/24/2019 10:39 AM

May I ask what point you are disagreeing with? She said divorce is always a right choice and R can also be a valid choice.
Actually what was said was 'D is always the right choice....'

I don't think 'D is always a right choice' would have gotten much comment.


So I still believe that we need to continue to air all voices because some people NEED to be told that D is an option and that they don't have to fix this.
Absolutely. At the same time, some people come here with the idea that they must D, and I think most of them need to hear that they have several options.

That might be what you are saying but that's not what I'm picking up and not the message I'm hearing. What I see is an effort to silence a particular group of people who don't believe R is achievable in most cases.
Gently, all we have here are the words we read and write. We have no non-verbal cues, and scientists say that we communicate most with non-verbals.

Because we have only words, one's response has to start with first understanding the literal meaning of the words, and one has to be very cautious when adding things to the words.

What I see is a lot of people generalizing from their own case. That's just bad logic and ba thinking overall.

I actually welcome ideas that differ from mine, as long as they don't stem from incompetent thinking.

I'm fine with being the guy who who wants to silence bad logic. Just don't think that triggering on bad logic is that same as triggering on the the idea the logic is supposed to support.

Examples:

1) Divorce is always the right way.

2) Divorce is always a right way.

The first statement says that everyone who doesn't D is handling infidelity in a wrong way. Even some people who don't seem to believe R is possible stay married after infidelity, and they say not divorcing the the right way for them. Statement 1 is a vast over-generalization; that's why it was confronted.

I have no problem with the 2nd statement.

I'll say for myself as a BH that chose to stay with his cheater that her worthiness has little to do with my decision. If not for other compelling reasons, I'd have kicked her to the curb. And I do believe there are many Betrayed's like me. Our choice to stay is less an affirmation of our Cheater and certainly doesn't put us in a position to be riled when Cheaters are negatively characterized.
Perhaps we need a new forum called something like 'No Way Out.'

AbandonedGuy posted 4/24/2019 10:42 AM

My friends and family are lousy with bad marriages right now. Some are dealing with possible infidelity. Some are dead bedrooms. Some are hives of distrust. And there's me, the sad lonely divorced man with no strings (for better or worse) but whose emotional health feels held together by frayed string, popsicle sticks, and Elmer's. D, R, not cheating but staying in an unhappy M...it's all shit. No choice of unhappy circumstances is necessarily better or worse than the others. I can't shit on R-ers or unhappy M enablers because if given the chance, I'd be dragging along a corpse of a marriage and stopping to give it CPR every 5 minutes with the rest of ya. For those or us not programmed to whore around, bonds can be very hard to break.

That said, if the cheater isn't playing ball, lots of luck with R. Cheaters can change, and many in this forum have, but the ones who don't want to or possibly can't even do so are grossly underrepresented here, and they exist. These are the real shit shows, and they don't always abandon you. Some seek cake. Beware the narcs and cake eaters ye who find yourselves in the worst club you never wanted to join.

cocoplus5nuts posted 4/24/2019 11:41 AM

We all come here with our own unique experiences and beliefs. Those experiences and beliefs can cloud our understanding. I think, as sisoon said, it's important to not read into the words that are written. Just take the words at face value.

My fch is one who tries to interpret what I really mean by what I say. He invariably gets it wrong. I say what I mean and mean what I say. There is no hidden message that I expect him to figure out.

He does this with my words because that is the way he communicates. One of the justifications he gave himself for cheating was that I didn't support him because I said I wasn't traveling 300 miles by myself with 3 young children to go to his master's graduation. The thing is that he complained about having to be in the program the entire time. He was required to for his job. He said many times that it was useless. I asked him if he wanted me to come to the graduation. He said I didn't have to. So, I said I wouldn't go. Since I don't communicate that way, it never occurred to me that I was supposed to guess that he wanted the opposite of what he said. Makes absolutely no sense to me.

Later, when I learned that he really wanted me there, asked why he didn't just say that. His response was that he wanted me to go because I wanted to. I would've wanted to if he had told me it was important to him.

I also didn't R because of my fch's worthiness. He was not worthy. I stayed initially because I wanted to maintain my and my children's lifestyle, and because I felt he owed me. I had every intention of divorcing as soon as I got things figured out. If my children weren't homeschooled and I was working full time, I would have left immediately. I certainly don't consider myself virtuous or better than because I stayed. I felt weak and trapped. My fch is the one who did and does all the work for R.

I can say with much confidence (not 100% because no one can be 100% certain of a hypothetical) that my life is better still married than it would be if I were divorced. I've been D before. I've been a single parent before. I know how difficult those 2 things are. This life I have now is much better than that one was. At the end of the day, we all only have right now, this moment.

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