I am back and am digging in again after a quick bite for dinner. I have ruminated a lot on this thread during the day and would like to go back and respond to some posters....
I completely disagree on your last post.
Cheaters know right from wrong for the most part. Just like you know if you cheat on your diet you won’t lose weight. But you give in to the "want" or make the choice to eat the chocolate cake even though you know it’s not the right decision.
It’s making the selfish choice that is the issue. A cheater knows they should not cheat but they do it anyway. There are a million lies they tell themselves like "we are friends" or "it’s an innocent lunch".
Yes all those "innocent" encounters you don’t tell your spouse about and lie to yourself about.
Yes people grow up in dysfunctional homes and really bad environments. However - it’s not an excuse or reason to continue to lie and cheat.
My dad grew up with an alcoholic serial cheating parent. He’s not an alcoholic and he never cheated on my mother. I have many siblings. No one ever cheated on their spouse either. We just knew it was wrong. And not tolerated either.
You and mommabear1010 pushed back the most to what I have postulated and I deeply appreciated it. You see, I believed your very words for years, heart and soul. I did. My perception HAS changed a lot but I do hang on to the core of what you and mb1010 are getting at...personal responsibility, knowing right from wrong, being a grown ass adult (my words), not using FoO issues as and excuse to behave immorally/unethically. I agree with this, BUT, I would now include an addendum. You see, my friend and first wife KNEW they were wrong. There was never any question. They knew it. When I tried to approach them with the ethical, moral argument and to "straighten up and fly right" they had this far away look in their eyes like they heard the words but it did not compute. I guess some call this "the affair fog." Here now is my best stab at it. I believe they absolutely DID start out being duplicitous. Fully aware small steps to begin with as others have described but the deeper they got, something in them twisted/warped and they would no longer listen to reason. Reason which they had agreed with in the past over and over. Reason that they themselves had touted many times, but, when they themselves were confronted with the same, it was like they were listening to a voice from a far away land. It was strange to behold as well as maddening and a bit frightening. This is when CD takes hold. There is a point where the duplicity overloads the circuits and some kind of altered state of consciousness takes over. Some fall prey to this, others don't. Some snap out of it with exposure, others don't.
Thank you so much for your posts. You and I do have a lot in common and I read the posts from the links on your page. I am so sorry for what you posted and for what you are going through. I hope you have gotten to a place of acceptable transparency with your WW. We are also close to the same age. Though my first wife is now gone, I can definitely relate to your description of being triggered and your determination to search for more answers.
Another narrative you mention that I've read in my FWW's archives that triggers anger in me is this idea of "well I violated this boundary, now there's no reason to stop at the next one." That strikes me as borderline psychopathic thinking. "I lied and met him without telling my H so I may as well kiss him. I've kissed him so now I may as well fuck him. I've fucked him and betrayed my H so now I may as well kill H in his sleep and live happily ever after with OM."
No, that's pure selfishness. They know very well that every one of those steps is huge. They're telling themselves another lie to convince themselves that they're sliding down a slope and not climbing a hill.
Again, I agree with this. It IS pure selfishness. The only thing I think I would add is what that pure (and evil) selfishness does to the psyche of the cheater resulting in CD. Tragically, I believe that the fall out from CD permanently damages the psyche of the WS, whether they achieve remorse or not, to greater or lesser degree. They are never the same.
You sir, hit me hard with this:
I had a moment on the slope about 5 or 6 years ago. I usually work to avoid being in that situation but it still happened. Plane ride, business trip. The woman next to me engaged me in conversation and I didn't have work to do so we chatted. It seemed harmless to me, just chatting with a fellow passenger. But it clicked and we kept up the conversation. I have developed good listening skills and I know they can make an impact. I assume that's what happened but for whatever reason, there was a connection. I felt it and enjoyed our conversation. She was attractive but I didn't feel like I was flirting in any way, just paying attention. It wasn't a very long flight and we were headed to different final destinations but toward the end she invited me to come visit her. I realized then I was on the slope without knowing I had been inching there, enjoying talking to an attractive woman. Maybe I was showing more energy than normal? I don't know. I got off the slope immediately at that point. I felt bad tbat I mzy have led her on in some way, not talking about my wife directly as I usually do? Who knows; but it was easy to get off the slope once I realized where I was.
The reason I said that is that I had much the same experience not too long ago on a business trip where my associates and I were returning to the hotel from a late dinner with clients. A female associate was walking next to me in heels of course and as we were walking up to the hotel, she slipped a bit and grabbed my arm. I grabbed her hand with my other hand and steadied her and asked if she was ok and she said yes. I let go of her hand and uncrooked my arm but she did not let go of my arm and we continued to walk to the hotel entrance. I thought maybe she was concerned about slipping again as the walkway WAS wet from rain earlier. As the doorman opened the door, I waited for her to let go of my arm and go in and I would follow but she did NOT let go. Everyone was chatting with one another but I noticed that some of her female associates were giving her sidelong knowing glances (I may be thick headed but I am not THAT thick headed) and was aware that she was giving me THE signal. Her female associates scatters elsewhere, probably to the hotel bar, and as we walked to the bank of elevators, she continued to hold my arm and chat while I was saying, "Oh Shit," to myself. I am very happily married man, adore my wife, would do nothing to jeopardize our life and marriage and knew that I was facing a test right there and then. When we got to the elevators, I turned to her, removed her hand from my arm, complimented her on a job well done that day (she HAD done a great job that day), wished her a good evening, turned on my heel and walked to my elevator which, thankfully, was waiting for me. Ill admit my heart was beating hard when I got on the elevator, but knew I had passed a test. So, yeh, get off the slope asap and reinforce those boundaries for sure.
[This message edited by DobleTraicion at 1:29 AM, Friday, August 19th]