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The reality of an affair

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forgettableDad posted 4/20/2020 05:29 AM

Ran into my AP's X online post (we work in the same industry so it's not uncommon that I see their posts) which triggered a conversation between me and a friend about my affair. I wrote this in response to one of his statements and I wanted to share:

Yea I know. I'm not really blaming myself for their divorce. But I had a role in it, even if it was incidental. I know if it wasn't me it'd be someone else, same for her. There was nothing special about any of it. Two broken people running from fixing themselves and hurting the people they're suppose to actually really love... Still feel shitty I guess..

There was nothing special about any of it. Two broken people running from fixing themselves and hurting the people they're suppose to actually really love
That's the reality of my affair. And that is the reality of your affair. Love. Connection. All of that? There's nothing special about any of it. It's a dime a dozen.

HellFire posted 4/20/2020 08:19 AM

While it's true, that an AP could have been anyone, it wasn't. It was you. Your role was not incidental. It was deliberate.

You can't help someone drop a bomb on their marriage, and then take no blame when that marriage ends.

Was it her responsibility to not have an affair? Absolutely. She was 100% responsible for her actions. And you are 100% responsible for yours.

gmc94 posted 4/20/2020 08:53 AM

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
my reaction too.

Zugzwang posted 4/20/2020 09:36 AM

Yeah, I really had the incidental attitude in the beginning. Though it changed. It wasn't incidental it was as Hellfire said. Deliberate. Calculated. Cruel. Intentional. Personally, I would have blamed myself. I would have and did have a role in driving a wedge through my APs relationships. Then worked through that and accepted it. Since, I would have been guilty. I should feel shitty.

You are right though. There was nothing special.

thatbpguy posted 4/20/2020 10:35 AM

While it's true, that an AP could have been anyone, it wasn't. It was you. Your role was not incidental. It was deliberate.
You can't help someone drop a bomb on their marriage, and then take no blame when that marriage ends.

Was it her responsibility to not have an affair? Absolutely. She was 100% responsible for her actions. And you are 100% responsible for yours.


This.

Only I would not have stated it nearly as nicely. I mean, hell, talk about a person not giving a damn what they do to people.

ibonnie posted 4/20/2020 11:24 AM

Why wouldn't you blame yourself for their divorce?

That's like saying you were drunk driving, got into a car crash, and the other driver is now disabled from their injuries. You feel bad because you were the drunk, (therefore a choice) driver, but you're not really blaming yourself because it could have been anyone in the other car.

[Edited to remove a confusing word.]

[This message edited by ibonnie at 11:37 PM, April 20th (Monday)]

HellFire posted 4/20/2020 11:38 AM

Only I would not have stated it nearly as nicely

I had to remember which forum I was in. Trust that I had a different response going through my head.

forgettableDad posted 4/20/2020 23:18 PM

Was it her responsibility to not have an affair? Absolutely. She was 100% responsible for her actions. And you are 100% responsible for yours.
An incidental role is still a role. I was there at the right time with the right opportunity to be the catalyst for their destruction as much as she was there for me. I chose to continue forward with the affair knowing that I'm coming in between two other people. But the acting of the role was incidental. It was nothing special. I am not responsible for their decisions any more than she is for mine and/or my wife's.

Why wouldn't you blame yourself for their divorce?
Why wouldn't I blame my wife for my affair? Should my wife blame my AP or me for breaking our marriage? Someone said on SI (or has in their signature) that a good man cannot be stolen. That's true.

Only I would not have stated it nearly as nicely. I mean, hell, talk about a person not giving a damn what they do to people.
You could have stated it in any other way you wanted but still be wrong. As I said. I acknowledge that I played a role. And frankly I feel horrible that I took that role so willingly. But the important part to healing is to understand why I took that role not that I played it. The role itself that I played in their marriage had very little to do with me.

Personally, I would have blamed myself. I would have and did have a role in driving a wedge through my APs relationships.
The blame game is a diversion from healing - as I said in the previous paragraph, the importance is to understand why and work to change that not to wallow in self pity because you did. You're not to blame for your AP's choices anymore than she is for yours. That you found each other had nothing special in it. No kismet or twist of fate. It was two broken people touching lives at the right time because you and her were ready to hurt yourselves and other people. The roles you took [willingly] were incidental to the other person. You looked to find someone else so that you could finish breaking your marriage.

That's like saying you were drunk driving, got into a car crash, and the other driver is now disabled from their injuries.
But is it the hitchhiker's fault who got into the car and is now injured as well? Analogies only go so far with most situations. And are usually just as helpful.

I broke my marriage. Not my AP. Not her husband. Not my wife. If I had never met the particular woman that I met my marriage would still be broken. The broken parts that had to be healed were mine (therefore ours). And it goes both ways. Yes, we played parts in hurting the partner of the other. But the it wasn't a special part - a part that only I could play because of some cosmic reason. The other person in an affair isn't actually of much importance to the reasons someone chooses to have an affair.

I know it might seem strange to a betrayed partner (it does to my wife when we talk about it) that after all the "oh but we were in love" bullshit it was just that. Bullshit. But it is bullshit. There's nothing special about the other person.

[This message edited by forgettableDad at 11:32 PM, April 20th (Monday)]

ibonnie posted 4/20/2020 23:36 PM

That's like saying you were drunk driving, got into a car crash, and the other driver is now disabled from their injuries.

But is it the hitchhiker's fault who got into the car and is now injured as well? Analogies only go so far with most situations. And are usually just as helpful.

You completely missed my point, and if your AP and her XBS had kids, they would be the hitchhiker's along for the ride that you are responsible for having injured.

I know it might seem strange to a betrayed partner (it does to my wife when we talk about it) that after all the "oh but we were in love" bullshit it was just that. Bullshit. But it is bullshit. There's nothing special about the other person.

I don't think any of the betrayed spouses that replied to your post think you said your affair was special OR believe that.

It was your flippant comment

Yea I know. I'm not really blaming myself for their divorce.
that we BSes are taking umbrage to, as it sounds like you're not taking your 50% ownership in destroying their marriage.

I know if it wasn't me it'd be someone else, same for her.

Like... I don't even know what to say to this. That's like trying to argue that if you weren't her co-conspirator in a bank robbery or a rape then it just would have been someone else, therefore you're not really blaming yourself for robbing a bank or assaulting a person.

It wasn't someone else. It was you. That has nothing to do with being special and 100% to do with being guilty of causing harm to the XBS and/or any kids involved in this situation.

[This message edited by ibonnie at 11:40 PM, April 20th (Monday)]

oldtruck posted 4/21/2020 06:13 AM

OP, i do not know if you recovered with or divorced your BW.

what i do know is that if you did not have sex with that woman
there was no guarantee that another OM would of had sex with
her.

having sex with a WW is not an inconsequential matter that is
not connected to why her marriage failed an ended in divorce.

that BH pain due to you being the OM was not a temporary
inconvenience, but left a permanent scar on that BH and your
BW.

i see your opening post as false justification to lessen your
share of the blame.

HellFire posted 4/21/2020 08:56 AM

Of course you could have been anyone. You weren't special.

That doesn't mean your role was insignificant.

You can pretend that your role had nothing to do with this man's decision to divorce his wife. You can pretend that you fucking his wife didn't have a devastating affect on his marriage. That doesn't make it a fact. I bet it had a huge role in his decision process.

It sounds like you have more work to do.

HellFire posted 4/21/2020 09:03 AM

Hmm. It's also possible that you don't think your role in the destruction of the betrayed husband's marriage is significant, because you view the affair as a good thing. A positive thing. You've even convinced your wife that it helped your marriage. So maybe you don't fully understand how destructive affairs can be. I suggest you read the jfo forum. It might help to educate you.

[This message edited by HellFire at 9:04 AM, April 21st (Tuesday)]

forgettableDad posted 4/21/2020 09:31 AM

what i do know is that if you did not have sex with that woman
there was no guarantee that another OM would of had sex with her.
She had sex with two other men. Not with me though. But the marriage wasn't destroyed because of having sex outside of it. Having sex outside of it was the result of her wanting to destroy her marriage.

Of course you could have been anyone. You weren't special.
That doesn't mean your role was insignificant.
The role wasn't insignificant. I was. That's the whole point. But even that. The role itself, having sex, being an emotional outlet, all of that. That's not the important part of an affair. The internal reasons to seek validation outside of the marriage; from someone that is not your partner, that's the biggest part for a cheater to deal with. The why you chose; not the specific choice itself (it may be important to the betrayed spouse but that's a different journey and I'm not discussing it here).

You can pretend that your role had nothing to do with this man's decision to divorce his wife.
What makes you think he initiated or pushed for the divorce? I'll not keep you waiting. He didn't.

Hmm. It's also possible that you don't think your role in the destruction of the betrayed husband's marriage is significant, because you view the affair as a good thing. A positive thing. You've even convinced your wife that it helped your marriage. So maybe you don't fully understand how destructive affairs can be. I suggest you read the jfo forum. It might help educate you.
A lot of things are possible that aren't true; assumptions are mostly a nice way of building narratives for ourselves but they're not really helpful most of the time.

The reality of an affair is that it would have happened. It's a manifestation of internal issues. The other person in the affair shares the responsibility for cutting the spouse but they are a knife, nothing else. The only way forward is to fix yourself. My divorce or reconciliation had nothing to do with my AP and neither did hers with me. I share the burden of being the instrument but not the driving hand. To put any responsibility on my AP for my life would hinder my relationship with my wife because it would be a way out from full accountability. My AP shares the burden of helping to hurt another person but she's not the reason for it and she is not to blame or credit for how I and my wife continue. It goes the other way too.

I think we agree on the basic premise. I'm happy to agree to disagree on what you feel about me or my wife

Rulk posted 4/21/2020 09:45 AM

That's like saying goes you didn't mean to hurt your BW, you only meant to stick your dick in someone else and it didn't matter who.

But your BW did get hurt and using your logic your not responsible for it. It's all incidental

[This message edited by Rulk at 9:53 AM, April 21st (Tuesday)]

eehamlet posted 4/21/2020 09:46 AM

forgettableDad:

It's fairly simple really. What you did was wrong. You obviously have no guilt over it.

Why are you even here?

BraveSirRobin posted 4/21/2020 09:48 AM

The problem with your post is that it comes across as a humblebrag. "My friend says I shouldn't blame myself, and of course he's right, but I'm such a decent person that I can't help feeling some small responsibility for what happened, although I know it wasn't really about me."

Your friend is clueless, and far from being laudable in your recognition of your own insignificance, your comment exposes that you are letting yourself off the hook too easily. You see yourself as a generic tool in AP's destruction of her marriage, rather than a critical accomplice in the execution of the crime.

AP's affair was not inevitable. If we lived in a world where everyone respected the value of marriage and refused to aid and abet a cheater, then the disgruntled partner would have no choice but to stay faithful and work through their problems or get a divorce. When you decided to move forward with the A, you and AP were the only two people in the world with the power to prevent that specific attack on both your marriages. In that moment and at that time, it could not have been anyone. It could only have been you.

somanyyears posted 4/21/2020 10:04 AM


..fDad..

YOU are a newcomer here.

READ and LEARN...

smy

HellFire posted 4/21/2020 10:19 AM

How do you know her husband didn't push for divorce?


I didn't assume anything. You have posted that the affair was a positive thing. I don't feel one way,or anothet about you and your wife. You said it was a positive thing for your marriage,and your wife.


FTR, I am one of the few BS who does not despise the AP. I hold my husband 100% accountable. However, to say that the other woman didn't have a role in helping my husband drop a bomb on my marriage would be false.

pinkpggy posted 4/21/2020 10:25 AM

That's the reality of my affair. And that is the reality of your affair. Love. Connection. All of that? There's nothing special about any of it. It's a dime a dozen.

I think this statement says a lot. So if it was nothing special, why do it? Why did it have the affect that it did? Obviously it was something special in the moment to happen. I think when WS say it was not a big deal, it meant nothing, are being worse than those who do say it was something. Why throw everything away for something that meant nothing to you?

Your affair meant something, it had consequences, you had a role in it. You made choices that affected many peoples life. You participated in something that will have rippling for years to come. I don't think you really grasp the damage an affair does. Whether you were one, or one of many, take responsibility for your role, and your actions.

gmc94 posted 4/21/2020 11:44 AM

You see yourself as a generic tool in AP's destruction of her marriage, rather than a critical accomplice in the execution of the crime.
And that is not a good place to be IMHO. Your BW sees it.... why can't you?

Unlike Hellfire, I DO have blame toward my WH's POSOW. If it hadn't been her would it have been someone else? Likely, in which case I'd be blaming them (and there WERE others, just -as far as I know - not for a decade long PA). IOW, EVERY woman that engaged in sexual activity with my WH is a co-conspirator. Each contributed to my pain (including one whom I knew personally). Each of them took their own giant dump on my M. At this juncture, the only exception is the prostitute. And not to minimize the pain of any BS whose WS's A(s) was with prostitutes, for me, it's a far easier pill to swallow, mostly bc of the pure anonymity in that unlike the other APs, it's not as if that hooker is ever gonna know me, my name, who I am, what I do for a living, etc. It's the same for a WS who lies to their AP about being M.

I have no ill will to an AP who was (like the BS) duped by the WS (and I guess the same could be said of most prostitute As, to the extent I suspect most WS don't talk about their wives to their prostitutes). But that's not the case with you, is it FD? You knew your AP was M. You knew she had a BH and kids at home. And you did it anyhow. That is your role and it was not "incidental."

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