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General :
Why do they cheat if they are planning to leave you? Why not just leave?

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 Summertime22 (original poster member #79796) posted at 12:40 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

Hi everyone. I firstly want to thank everyone on this wonderful forum for your kindness, help and support these last 8 months. I really can’t express how grateful I am for you all pulling me through what has been the worst 8 months of my life. I want you to know that I am thinking of you all and sending you strength in your situations.

It’s quite a journey, I’m still processing what has happened. Being left overnight after 4 years from someone I loved and trusted. Who was having an EA while trying to get me pregnant. It still hurts and still feels surreal.

I never got closure. Just a phone call and text messages. Now the OW is pregnant and living in the house we chose together.

I just don’t understand why he cheated while making serious life plans with me. Why cheat? He could have just ended our relationship. Started things with her afterwards. It’s like my mind keeps going over it, trying to work out why he did it? Why would someone do that to someone that loves them? He took me away for my birthday, it was really romantic, now it just makes me feel so sick and almost violated that he was seeing her during in this time. He ended things less than 2 weeks later.

Then there was the contact. Messaging and phoning me to say he missed me.

I am 11 weeks no contact now. I know that I will never get the answers from him. I won’t contact him. When I asked him why he made those plans with me his excuse was ‘I don’t know how to say no to people’ which is pathetic.

I don’t want to go back. I’ve worked so hard on myself. Counselling, meds, keeping busy. I get confused by my own feelings as I still miss him. I’m researching trauma bonds and that was definitely an issue in our relationship as he was moody and I was always trying to please him. But it was very subtle,

But I just feel so angry at what he did. The cruelty of it. Why do it? Get my hopes up and then take it away and not even have the decency to talk to me person. Even a face to face talk which might of made things slightly easier for me.

Thank you for listening. I guess I’m trying to make sense of something that makes no sense to me.

posts: 151   ·   registered: Jan. 16th, 2022   ·   location: UK
id 8751443
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EmbraceTheChange ( member #43247) posted at 1:30 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

I'm sorry you find yourself here.

For me, he needed to make me the bad guy, so he would look like he has 0 option but to abandon me and the kids since I was "so difficult" to live with. And by that, I mean, EVERY SINGLE SHIT he could find to criticize me, he used it. Shopping at Whole Food? I was overspending. Jokes with friends? I was making them uncomfortable. Asking the handyman next door to paint the fence? The guy looked like an ex bf. Me sticking to my plans to homeschool my 6 yr old? His entire education would be fucked up courtesy of me, and my ex husband's opinion was not even "considered" and he was "unheard".

He was very very busy at work. I thought he was stressed to death and why I gave him leeway. And then I found out about his affair with a married woman.

Obv, from his stand point, he was not going to leave me until he was 100% sure she would be with him. He didn't want to jack up his life to end up alone. It was much better to make me believe a pack of lies but for him to have somewhere to come back in the evening and have stuff to do on weekends. It also worked in his favor that he could compare his "uber shit weekends with a wife who had mood swings and didn't appreciate him" with his never ending happiness when he was with the AP.

The game was always rigged from the start. It was our reaction, our behavior which was "the problem ", not theirs. Until you find out the truth. Game changer and game over.

Hope that helps.

[This message edited by EmbraceTheChange at 1:44 PM, Monday, August 22nd]

I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination

posts: 1243   ·   registered: Apr. 27th, 2014   ·   location: Near Fort Worth, TX
id 8751450
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TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 2:13 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

Cowardice. That's usually the crux of it.

Also, not being in touch with how they really feel. So as life plans with you start to progress perhaps he started to feel a bit anxious or overwhelmed but he doesn't know how to actually deal with those feelings so he runs from them. Can't say for sure but I'd bet he didn't know how to feel his feels much less communicate them in an open and honest way. Just bail.

So cowardice again.

I know it hurts. Badly. But in the end you are well rid of him. You deserve a grown up man who says what he means and means what he says.

posts: 247   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8751454
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Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 2:44 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

Cowardice and wanting a guaranteed backup plan.

WS - remarried to BH but not in R

D-day 2010

posts: 6388   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2010   ·   location: USA
id 8751459
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 3:47 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

You are trying to make sense of a situation that makes no sense.

You are right - why not just be honest and leave?

You will never get an acceptable answer on that one. I stopped trying to make sense of my H’s affairs a long time ago.

It freeing when you stop putting the cheater first in your life and you put yourself first. Best move I ever made.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12497   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8751467
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 4:06 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

Monkey-branching... same as a monkey holds onto the last branch while grasping the next. It's all about what other people are doing for HIM, right? They serve a purpose in his life, whether that's providing sex, or money, sympathy, companionship, whatever. He can't be on his own. He didn't cheat because of you or even because of the OW. It's all about his perception and what values he places on what he's getting. Affairs drum up more adrenaline and dopamine, hence his perception that the OW is a better branch. You see how that works?

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5927   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8751469
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 7:06 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

Some people need to know there’s that next " safety net" waiting for them.

As in I need an OM/OW or SO or partner to run to b:c I don’t want to have to sorry about $ or cooking or doing my own laundry.

Whatever the reason is, it’s not important. What is important is that the cheater is someone who refuses to be honest with either themselves or their spouse.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12497   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8751489
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 8:44 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

My WW wanted to monkey branch out of the M. The problem she was having is there was plenty of interest, just no takers.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH M 31 years

posts: 1795   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8751504
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Dkt3 ( member #75072) posted at 9:08 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

My personal opinion is exist affairs are very rare.

What I mean is I believe very few people actually enter affairs thinking "im doing this because I want out"

I believe its usually more like they get involved in the affair NOT thinking the marriage is over, along the way they weigh facing the consequences of staying vs leaving and figure leaving is easier.

posts: 110   ·   registered: Aug. 3rd, 2020
id 8751507
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skeetermooch ( member #72169) posted at 11:57 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

I think this is similar to a question I used to ask- why get married when you know you can't be faithful.

I've come to the conclusion that they lack integrity. They are willing to harm the most important person in their life, leave us to a 3-5 year recovery process, possibly with lingering PTSD and an inability to ever trust again, not to mention financial fall out and lost future goals - all to make sure they get what they want when they want it.

They don't have the strength of character to be alone for five minutes or be honest about who they are and what they want, so they are cheating cowards as others here have said.

It's so much deeper than the quality of our relationships with them or the allure of the other person - it's an enormous hole in their souls. They can't do the right thing for other people. Perhaps they don't even care that they're pieces of trash - something that would bother a normal person. Selfish, entitled cowards.

You miss the mask and it takes a lot of time and NC to truly integrate the fact that it was a mask - not the real person. It took me over a year to start to get it. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this, especially with the pregnancy situation. Good luck to her procreating with a scumbag. That should be real fun.

Me: BS 56 on DDay 1 - 7/2019 DIVORCED - 1/2021

posts: 1243   ·   registered: Nov. 28th, 2019
id 8751537
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 Summertime22 (original poster member #79796) posted at 10:36 AM on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

Wow guys thank you all so, so much for your replies. I can’t tell you how much it helps me. I save every message and read them when I’m feeling particularly low.

I agree that it’s cowardice, and monkey branching. I also agree that I have to be strong and remind myself that it is the mask I was in love with.

He showed his true colours in cheating. He also really put me down when ending things with me- that’s the worst bit. Telling me it was easy for me as he is younger than me, no debt, easy decision for me! That he could never make me number one. So he said. It was like he blamed me for his A. It was like he changed overnight to someone I didn’t recognise at all. But I guess that is the real him.

Thank you all for your support. It all helps me so much to get your insight and to know that I’m not alone.

posts: 151   ·   registered: Jan. 16th, 2022   ·   location: UK
id 8751591
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HarryD ( member #72423) posted at 2:56 PM on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

I think everyone who starts a affair is looking for a exit affair. Better life, happier life, that green grass looks so good. Then the truth gets in the way. AP who great in bed is a cheater. How do you trust a cheater. AP IS NOT REALLY WHAT YOU THOUGHT thay are.

posts: 109   ·   registered: Dec. 30th, 2019   ·   location: NY
id 8751603
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 5:28 PM on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

My EXWW got into her A because she was bored and unhappy, according to her at least. Then she was seduced by a smooth talking cowboy, again, according to her. She was planning on leaving me and then announcing their "new" relationship three months later. Her plan was sabotaged when she was discovered by my best friend and then forced to confess.

Long story, but the funny thing is she begged him not to tell me because it would ruin her M, you know, the onevshecwas done with. She turned on a dime and promised all sorts of shit like NC and IC, etc. She was about to get what she wanted and it freaked her out. It was an example of extreme cognitive dissonance. And she's an idiot.

People are people,
but cheaters are just a special kind of shitty.

Me:55 STBXWW:55 DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off and filed. Denied having an affair in court papers.

Divorced 2022!!!!

posts: 1312   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8751627
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papoula ( member #39079) posted at 4:53 AM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

I believe it's not one single reason, probably multiple reasons.

Selfishness, lack of respect for others and their feelings, wanting to make sure the affair will become a relationship so they don't stay alone are a few reasons.

Me: BS 41 years oldHim: WH 44 years old1st DDay 2013 and several others after that Married 10 yearsMoving forward with separation and divorce

posts: 157   ·   registered: Apr. 25th, 2013   ·   location: United States
id 8756488
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hurtbs ( member #10866) posted at 2:36 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

First, I'm sorry you're here. Kudos to you for going No Contact. As painful as it feels now, it will help you heal as you go forward.

Second, affairs aren't logical. If they were, virtually no one would have them as there is no way to "logic" your way into an affair being the best option. For those who have exit affairs, it's often a way to ensure they have a soft place to fall. For those who continue their affair while "trying" to reconcile, it's because they a backup (either their BS or the AP). It's not uncommon for WS's to demonize their BS as they start to enter the affair to justify their actions. After all, if you cheat on a committed, supportive partner - you're kind of an asshole. But if you cheat on an abusive harpy, you're the victim.

Continue to focus on you and your healing. You'll get continued support here.

Me - 40 something.WXH DDay 2006, R'd (or so I thought), then discovered more problematic behavior. Divorced 2012WBFDDay 9/4/2022 - Partner of 8+ years confessed to ONSStatus - Day by Day

"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate" Asimov

posts: 15645   ·   registered: Jun. 1st, 2006
id 8756508
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 2:41 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Mine was an exit A. H emotionally abused me, comparing me to OW (EAs), financial abuse. Refused accountability. Blamed it on my volatility, post partum depression and yet actively continued the very behaviors that exacerbated my condition. Unilateral spending, he got what he wanted because he was so miserable with my bitchy depressed self at home and his aspie son who wasnt fitting in w the other kids at school. Refused MC because it was just me bitching about him to the MC. I did a short course of meds and only a 6mo stint in IC and stopped because H said it was expensive and we were already tight on budget. Because H insisted on a house which was beyond our means at the time as we were single income w the kids.

I am not really angry about all this anymore, just incredibly sad that I lived in fear of his anger, criticism, blame and accepted his negativity for me as the absolute truth about who I was. I am incredibly sad that we lived that long like that. That I enabled him so long.

I am sad that I had my A. I am sad I didnt insist on counseling for myself, on balancing the budget, not cosigning on the Mustang that got repoed and accepting responsibility for going to the bank to straighten out ths account and enduring the ridicule and derision of the bank manager and tellers. Im sad I signed the legal waiver on his vasectomy.

Im sad i lived in such fear and was such a coward that I didnt leave him or D him. Instead I decided to have an A so I could for once feel whst it was like to have someone say nice things about me. To have someone to lean on while I waited until the kids were old enough that I could leave.

I chose to stay as H did a good pick me dance. Because, after his continued angry outbursts at me in front of the kids a year aftet Dday, I got D papers written and said, "IC or D." He chose to stick with me through the first year of my suicide attempt and mental breakdown. He also chose to do IC for about 1.5yrs and continues in MC with me. He is starting to open his eyes to what exactly he did to me and our kids in the M. He is slowly showing signs of remorse and small signs of accountability.

I choose to stay in part because of my faith, a LOT to do with raising the kids with full access to them, the home we are building together. The progress we are making in our financial goals and the respect H is now showing to my and the kids wants and needs. I stay because I am challenging myself to grow in strength, growing out of my enabling behavior and growing into more and more the person I can respect and want to be.

H is taking investment into our relationship more seriously. We are doing date nights. We are doing weekends away. Hes apologizing for being so one sided in where we chose to vacation- ALWAYS up north at his parents cottage with his mom and dad there. H learned his negativity, criticism, rigidity and judgmentalism directly from both of them. I had a triple dose of his shit and his mothers overwhelming anxiety and an unhealthy dose of his whole familys enablement of her fear based tyranny. H is stsrting to wake up to this. Which is why I am staying.

In all, the A was the most destructive thing I have done in my life. I do believe that the aftermath is where God is working out my salvation and the breaking of generational chains of destruction.

I do believe that slowly I can find a relstiondhip with my H that I deserve. I also know I am not too cowardly to leave if I am finally done and have to leave to save myself.

So yeah, I was a coward choosing my A instead of standing my ground. I was looking to get out, but I was also so beaten down and so hating myself that I didnt believe I could leave and make a happy life for mysef.

Not all As are exit As. All As are completely unexcuseable and 100% the responsibility of the WS. One of the reasons I am able to forgive myself is the work I have done on myself and the M and knowing that there were a lot of driving forces behind the A. None of which FORCED me to choose the A, but certainly justified me leaving the M. I regret having the A and not demanding better of my H or D. The A was like the Hiroshima on our embattled prior M. I grateful H has given the opportunity to turn the shit show around and grateful that I now learning to stick up for myself and demand the respect and care I deserve.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her. Financial infidelity again- who says you only cheat with lovers?

posts: 839   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8756510
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HarryD ( member #72423) posted at 3:26 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Cheating is fast. Happens fast. No time to asked to end the marriage

posts: 109   ·   registered: Dec. 30th, 2019   ·   location: NY
id 8756521
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