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Are WW's just good people who do bad things?

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Justsomeguy posted 5/12/2019 15:22 PM

This observation came up on a response to one of my other threads on telling the kids. On responder said that he WH was a good man who did a bad thing. I'm not convinced in big labels like good or bad as they are so blunt, but I have met truly horrible people. I would not describe my WW as bad, but neither would I describe her as good. I look at her as sort of hollow, like an empty paper bag, holding a shape but with nothing filling it. She is now a 50 year old child, never having grown and filled herself with the texture of life and all its experiences. Thoughts?

Triggers posted 5/12/2019 15:48 PM

Well said.

marriageredux959 posted 5/12/2019 15:51 PM

I think it's more along the lines of, "WSs are people." Full stop.

Some, I'm sure, are horrible, selfish, entitled narcissists, perhaps even sociopaths.

If narcissism and sociopathy were the primary causes of infidelity, then the answer would be easy: divorce.

Given that the statistical incidence of infidelity far exceeds the statistical number of narcissists and sociopaths in the population (I'm riffing off of very general numbers here, obtained in any Google search) then it stands to reason that some infidelity is committed by normal, sane, decent people who do something really shitty.

Getting to the "why" in this case is the $64k question with which many (I'd venture that most) BSs and even most WSs struggle.

We've had countless threads that go on for many pages in which one camp espouses the position that affairs are all about illicit sex, while the other camp insists that the sex is a value added (or, perhaps even not) but that the primary driver is some other need/compelling desire. It is often divided between gender lines.

I was watching an Esther Perel interview/talk recently (I KNOW, I KNOW, Esther is NOT an SI favorite) and she said something I found incredibly enlightening and insightful. To paraphrase Perel:

In every relationship, there is one partner who is more in touch with their fears of abandonment, their fears of losing the other partner, and there is one partner who is more in touch with their fears of suffocation, with their fears of losing themselves.

According to Perel, the partner who is more in touch with the fear of losing himself, and who is more invested in maintaining that degree of autonomy and self-investment, is the one more likely to cheat.

It's not that the other partners, who are more afraid of abandonment, of losing the other partner, or, framed in a more positive manner, are more committed to the relationship than to self, it's not that they don't find others attractive, or that they do not fantasize about or even overtly desire sexual or romantic involvements with other people. It's that those partners will not give themselves permission, while the partner who is more self-invested will.

When viewed through this lens, it brings much of the "why?" into a different, and sharper, focus.

I've thought about starting a thread on this topic on SI, and I still may do so.

Bad person? Or just someone who, for a variety of reasons, is more self-invested than relationship invested? It isn't even necessarily a malicious reason... it could be FOO issues, it could be a simple maturity issue, it could be part of the inherent dynamic of the relationship. In fact, it could even be healthy in some circumstances- although the decision to give oneself permission to cheat is hardly healthy.

IMHO, cheating is a symptom. It's a weather report on the relationship, and a barometer on how that person is dealing with being in the relationship. Bad person in a good relationship? Good person in a bad relationship who chooses a shitty way to cope with it? Giving oneself permission to cheat has nothing to do with the relationship? Could be anything, I guess...

cocoplus5nuts posted 5/12/2019 16:31 PM

I think it depends. There are bad people. Some of those bad people cheat
There are also good people who make the wrong choices sometimes.

I would say my fch is, generally, a good person. He works hard. He takes care of his family. He helps others. He also had very poor coping skills for difficult situations that stem from his FOO.

ETA: My mom, otoh, was a narc who cheated. She was, essentially, a bad person. She cared only for herself and was good to others only when it benefited her.

[This message edited by cocoplus5nuts at 4:33 PM, May 12th (Sunday)]

hikingout posted 5/12/2019 17:38 PM

I donít know, but to me the answer is more...people who are bad people donít have to be bad people forever. And just because you are a good person you donít necessarily keep that status forever either. I have been a good person and I have been a bad person. The nature of your thoughts and behavior can change for the worse or for the better.

Lemondrop10 posted 5/12/2019 17:46 PM

I think it depends on the person. Mine is a terrible person if Iím honest to myself even without the cheating. I think itís possible for a good person to have ONE instance of infidelity given the right set of circumstances but I have a hard time wrapping my head around most serial cheaters being good people.

waitedwaytoolong posted 5/12/2019 17:48 PM

I said this on another thread, that if my EX was truly a bad person I would have had to see something in 25 years of marriage. Was she perfect? No, but neither was I. She was kind to most people, and in fact won awards for it

The horrible thing was what she did to me with her affair was so bad that it was unforgivable to me. That however doesnít mean that she canít be a nice person, and actually has been ever since DDay.

[This message edited by waitedwaytoolong at 5:50 PM, May 12th (Sunday)]

Darkness Falls posted 5/12/2019 17:49 PM

As with anything else in life, it depends on the person.

Oftencheatedon posted 5/12/2019 19:01 PM

It always depends on the person. There are horrible evil people who never cheat. They get no brownie points for that. They are still bad people.

A WS can be a person who had previously been a good person. But once they cheat they cross the line. Much like a really great person who murders someone. Yes they were a great person but now they are a killer.

Adaira posted 5/12/2019 20:05 PM

I donít know and I donít really care. His general goodness or lack thereof had no bearing on the fact that he did a terrible thing to me and because of that terrible thing, I no longer wanted to be married to him.

Amilliondreams posted 5/12/2019 20:54 PM

What i always believed defined someone as good or bad was whether they did more good than bad. Everyone does both. Obviously theres different degrees to each but to me its a scale and you have to constantly tip it in your favor.

The APs husband brought it to light for me and initially i felt for him as a betrayed and for her as a woman, who i almost always gave leniency to as i believe we are sexually exploited, abused etc. Now i know 100% they are bad people. They took.sympathy and ridiculed me for it. Both if them. He created a cheating spouse pafe for his wife, with her picture and full name, profession etc and to this day continues to post in it as different names, one being my spouses and others being her coworkers etc ans has sexually explicit conversations with himself essentually where he does everything from call her a whore, to berate posting phone numbers locations etc. He has cyber stalked me to the point where i have all but eliminated a media presence. And his unremorseful wife is a true narcissist. I had never actually interactes with a real narcissist before her.

Its a shame. For a moment there i has a "the other woman" fantasy of being friends and ganging together to due battle against my heartless ws. Turns out he had more remorse than all 3 of them. My theories tilla that point flipped.

Justsomeguy posted 5/12/2019 22:29 PM

So one of the things my STBXWW said to me is that i need to look at the 26 faithful no cheating years and bslancevthat with the cheating she did. I responded with, I am 51 years old. Say for 50 of those years, I had not murdered anyone, but for the last year, I was murdering people. Could I argue that it really wasnt so bad because on the whole, I led a pretty murder free life?

amethyst0323 posted 5/13/2019 05:19 AM

My WH was a really good person for the first 18 years of our relationship.

He was a horrible, cruel person for two years.

And he has spent the last 13 months working hard to become an even better person that he was before the affair. Hopefully he will continue on this path.

Ws's do horrific and cruel things but I do not believe they should be defined by these things forever. So I do not believe my WH is a horrible person but he has definitely done some horrible things that I still can't believe he was capable of doing.

Girl123 posted 5/13/2019 07:11 AM

I've never believed people are just good or bad, unless there were serious criminals.

I'm struggling with The concept now. The wrong decision that I made erases all the good that I did before? All the wonderful things my husband did for me and our son are forgotten because of his infidelity? I don't think so and everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I don't see the world in black and white.

All I can do now is take responsibility for my wrongs and try to fix my issues.

lostfather posted 5/13/2019 08:58 AM

I think you're the only person who change really judge that.

As an example, Charles Manson was a bad person. There aren't many people on that level. If the answer is no, then you'll have to coincide that there is good in him. I know this is an extreme comparison but all good vs all bad is an extreme.

cocoplus5nuts posted 5/13/2019 12:25 PM

I've been thinking about the Perel reference. I think I disagree.

I was the one in my M who was more concerned with losing myself. My fch was more concerned with losing me and being a failure at M.

I think that made him more likely to cheat. Why? Because D was always an option for me. It was not for him. So, what was his recourse if he was unhappy? His answer was to cheat.

SisterMilkshake posted 5/13/2019 12:36 PM

Dr. Shirley Glass writes that the person who is less invested in the marriage is the one that will cheat. I don't know if that is along the lines of what Perel is saying. And what I really think Perel is saying is that the person who is selfish, self involved, self centered is the one who is more likely going to cheat, but she has to make it sound a certain way to appeal to the many. No shit Sherlock!

SisterMilkshake posted 5/13/2019 12:36 PM

Duplicate post...Sorry!

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 12:37 PM, May 13th (Monday)]

MamaDragon posted 5/13/2019 12:36 PM

I think there are some WSs that are good people who do bad things.

I also think that there are some that are just nasty people and do bad things because it makes them feel better about themselves.

Everyone makes mistakes, it is only a problem if they keep making the same mistakes and don't take ownership of what they have done. I think those that are remorseful will do any and everything that their BS asks of them.

Dismayed2012 posted 5/13/2019 12:57 PM

I agree with you 'Justsomeguy'

There are no good or bad people. There are just people with the capacity to choose good or bad things. Every decision carries with it responsibility. If you make a choice that helps people, you're responsible and you get praise. If you make a choice that is destructive, you're again responsible and get consequences. It has nothing to do with whether someone's good or bad. It has everything to do with the character that we each take the time to build into ourselves. Character too is a choice. People who choose to build it, have it. Those who don't, well that's why sites like this exist.

My ex gave me the same argument, "Focus on the faithful years." That gave me a stark insight into how little character and empathy she had. This is the type of thinking you get from a whore that you've tried to make into a housewife.

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