Newest Member: ForeverWinter


You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.

A small ramble on my hatred of the word "mistake"

I will admit that pre-A I never paid much attention to the word mistake, and I rarely classified anything as a bad decision. Mistakes seemed lighter - less within your control. Bad decisions sounded - well - bad. Like a person who made a bad decision had total control over their actions and made a bad choice. But I really never gave it much of a thought - and I can really get hung up on words.

From the moment I discovered the A to today (whenever we talk about the A now which isn't often) I am not sure how many times my WH classified his actions relating to the A as "mistakes" - having sex with her was a "mistake," treating me like a door mat was a "mistake," lying to me and everyone he knew - yep, another "mistake." After spending an inordinate amount of time on this site and seeing countless users write (in response to me and others) something like this in one form or another: "Having sex with someone else was not a mistake. His ___ did not mistakenly fall into her _____," at some point around 1 year from d-day 1 and in the immediate aftermath of d-day 2, I cut him off when he was claiming yet another "mistake" occurred. when trying to answer one of my many questions. I didn't just cut him off - I tore into him repeating just about every line I had heard here about how what he did was NOT a mistake but instead was a series of horrible decisions - bad choices. I basically banished him from using the word mistake in reference to his A, ever.

So, now fast forward 5 years...I really don't have much leftover trauma from the infidelity. I don't have many "triggers" to speak of, but the word Mistake is one that gets me every time. So this weekend I hear someone on a TV show taking about making a mistake (the context was in relation to buying a car that turned out to be bit of a lemon) and I felt myself tense up. Was this really a mistake??? I mean this person made a calculated decision to buy this vehicle. Just because they didn't like the outcome does not mean it was a mistake right? Could they just absolve themselves of responsibility by claiming something was a mistake so easily.

I had defined mistake as something like this:

I was painting several rooms in my house last week (same color just different sheens), and I thought I had opened Paint A and had inadvertently opened Paint B and painted about half the room with it before I realized my error. I then though to myself that I had actually done something that classifies as a mistake. But it's not that simple.

Merriam-Webster defines mistake, when used as a noun as:

1 : a wrong judgment : MISUNDERSTANDING

2 : a wrong action or statement proceeding from faulty judgment, inadequate knowledge, or inattention

Faulty judgment - hmmmm - that seems like a mistake can actually be more than just ticking the wrong box - an accident. But a misunderstanding...not so much. So is the decision to have an A - to answer that flirty text, to linger in conversation a bit too long with someone you find attractive, to put your hands down their that a mistake, or a bad decision or bad choice, or some combination of all of them?

When looking at the definitions of the words choice (the act of choosing: SELECTION or the power of choosing: OPTION) and decision (the act or process of deciding) I wasn't so sure. But I think part of my problem with the word mistake comes in that lessening of responsibility that seems to come with the use of that word because of its primary cohort - misunderstanding. That indicates something other than selecting - using the power of choice to do something bad.

So maybe I can give mistake a pass - perhaps the better way to frame it in my mind is the difference in accountability. When my WH now says "I should never have done that. It was a mistake" I know the context in which it comes - I know what he means even if his word usage isn't the best. In all honesty back then I knew he used the word mistake in the colloquial sense - an error in judgment not misunderstanding. He was never claiming he thought his AP was me and then "ooops" she wasn't. He was, maybe even subconsciously, lessening his personal responsibility because he did not want to face it. Softening the blow (to himself). But I'm as guilty as the next person for using the word mistake when I really mean bad choice.

Sheesh I should not have had that 4th cocktail last night - that was a mistake. :)

10 comments posted: Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

Cheating - It's all in the family

I know it's been asked before but does your cheater have a cheating family history or if you are the WS do you have one?

I know my post topic is overbroad, but the context for it is this: I just learned my WH's brother, who has been with his partner for almost 20 years, has been asked to leave their home due to his...infidelity. This triggered me - but not in the reliving my own experience - it made me desperately want to reach out to his partner and check on her (I won't as they are very private people and while she has always been nice to me we are not close by a long shot - I don't even have her phone number). But it also made me incredibly sad as his brother was the only one in the male line of his family who hadn't cheated that I knew of.

The cheating family tree:

WH's paternal grandfather - cheated on his wife for years. They had two boys (actually 3 but the 3rd one died very young) leaving her with the boys who were teenagers at the time and taking off with another woman for 20+ years until he was ill, after which he returned to his wife, who dutifully took care of him until he died. Everyone knew of the cheating as he literally moved to another town with the OW (this is SMALL rural America - everyone knows everyone) and no one really talked about it in the family.

WH's father - Married to WH's mother for 25 years at the time - they had two teen aged boys - WH and WH's brother mentioned above. He had a 5+ year affair with a married woman from their church before leaving WH's mother for her (OW's husband was gay but trying to stay in the closet - he had been busted with another man at a rest stop and it made the paper in their small town -seriously you can't make this up it's so cliche - and she was sort of shunned as in their very right-wing extreme religion it was her fault that her husband had "turned" gay rolleyes so not so sure she was really cheating on her husband as they were married in name only). Whole town found out, WH's father and OW were thrown out of the church - they married 15 yeas later and tried to play off they weren't together for at least 5 years after the A was discovered. WH's mom took WH and his brother out of town for the weekend, told them about their impending divorce, and when they returned their dad had moved out and they never spoke of it again.

WH's father's brother (WH's Uncle) - Married to wife for 18 years, has an affair with an unmarried waitress who gets pregnant and has the baby, and tells BS. Uncle and BS stay married and eventually end up raising his-AP's child as AP goes off the deep end mentally and gives up custody of the child to him. Five years later AP murders BS (unsolved mystery for about 3 years - was on tv etc so they couldn't pretend this didn't happen).

WH - My story - WH has A with married coworker. He also works with her husband the OBS and he was really good friends with him etc etc etc

WH's brother - Supported by long term partner (both do not agree with organized religion and do not want a state-sanctified relationship as they are not into the state having a say in their relationship etc) - committed just like a marriage. Own a house together and lived together exclusively for the last 18 years. His partner supported him for years while he did not work and pursued various educational pursuits. He finally gets a really decent job last year, and apparently met someone at work, and had an A. Don't know if he is leaving for the AP or his partner is kicking him out.


Basically every male member of my WH's paternal family line have been cheaters (save the boy who died very young of course). AND his brother, and my WH decided to cheat after infidelity absolutely 100% murdered their own aunt. I mean what the actual fuck?!? I know that behavior is learned but holy crap. I had thought of this genetic cheating line before and actually believed that WH's brother was the exception - he seemed ultra committed to his partner - they did everything together. Definitely not a "perfect" relationship in that I would have wanted it, but it seemed to work for them. So I think this has shocked me more because it immediately brought this to mind.

Corresponding food for thought: if this family doesn't establish the importance of dealing with infidelity the right way with the kids IDK what does (or what the right way is, but not the way they did)

26 comments posted: Thursday, January 12th, 2023

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