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Blame Game/Unmet Needs/Always Capable

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 BullfrogProfile (original poster new member #83292) posted at 5:08 AM on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

Hey all,

I (33/M) was referred here by a poster of another site, who thought posting my story and some questions would help.

Story: 9-year relationship, engaged for four. Started when she got fired from her job (toxic boss). In her words, tied a lot of her self-worth to external factors and didn't fight her demons. Met AP (Affair Partner) around April from a networking event; EA/PA up until I asked her to leave (November). Went so far as a trip overseas in August that I was told was a solo trip. As of this past February, they are still seeing each other. She trickled truthed me in September. I just waited until I got concrete evidence, while she lied about not seeing him anymore. I eventually came across photos he sent her of their dates, as well as emails and AirBnB receipts. I never told her what I found, all that I know more than what she was telling me. I started therapy soon as part of the story came out in September; I graduated and now see on a once-a-month basis as needed - the best thing I could have done.

Last conversation she blamed me: "Cheating doesn't start with the cheating, it starts before then," she told me. If only I had met her needs regarding her relationship with my parents and for us not having enough sex. Told me I needed to "dig deeper" as to my role in the relationship.

Now, I am getting texts at random, usually late at night: She misses me every day, can never forgive herself, thank you for all I did, she loves me beyond words, she cries herself to sleep, the doctor wants her on anti-depressants. I've been in NC.

Questions: I don't blame myself for her cheating, but I still find it hard not to say whatever deterioration of the relationship didn't play a part, although my therapist told me even if I did everything right in the relationship, we would still have had problems and my ex made a decision to look elsewhere, not because I was unfulfilling. So my questions are:

- 1. How sound is the validity of unmet needs?
- 2. Were they always capable of cheating? I find it hard to believe the person I met 9 years ago could have done this. Was this behavior always in their DNA and I just need to do a better job of seeing the red flags?

For those at the beginning of their trauma, I promise you it gets better! While I still have my triggers that get me upset and down a rabbit hole, whether it is certain songs or random thoughts of the good times, I've dedicated myself to exercising and actually started dating around two months ago. Hang in there.

posts: 6   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2023
id 8789218
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 5:35 AM on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

1) totally invalid. If your action could control her actions (they can't) then her actions could have controlled yours. So the reason you weren't meeting her needs is because she wasn't doing enough to make you want to meet those needs. And so forth forever. One must be entirely responsible for their own actions.

2) yes, but... I do think external factors and opportunity weigh in to deterioration of porous boundaries. Some people cheat at the drop of the hat. Others require a bit more convincing but they were always open to it. "I would never cheat." Vs "I would never cheat, unless..."

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2626   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8789220
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 9:11 AM on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

Was the person you met 9 years ago always capable of cheating?

Good question. Maybe not then but then they became a cheater.

I married my H for many reasons but the one thing that impressed me when we first started dating was that he was honest and not a player.

However he then became a selfish person who loved the ego boost other women gave him by being flirty etc. which then resulted in two affairs.

My H was very shy around women when we met. Good looking guy and very funny but he was very shy. However as he climbed the corporate ladder and became successful in his 30s, women started to notice him.

My H was not the typical cheating H. In fact when I told my sister he was cheating she accused me of being crazy. There was NO POSSIBLE WAY he would do that. That was her mindset.

Until I told her he admitted it to me. She was as floored as I was.

And yes my H tried to blame me for his affairs. His most outlandish comment was (after 25 years of a good marriage where he never expressed his unhappiness or discontent) that I never loved him and married him for other reasons. Hmmmm….it was not his money (we had none when we married) so I just laughed in his face at that comment.

My H traveled all over the world for his job. I never complained. I was home taking care of the kids and house and life went on and we were a team. Worked together. No issues.

If he wanted to play golf or something- I encouraged him. He worked hard and deserved some free time. Guys weekend away? No problem! Golf trip with the guys? Go for it!

I put my H first with no problem. He had a life most people would be envious of.

He still found a "reason" to cheat. He blamed me.

My point is I don’t care WHAT the cheater’s unhappiness or issue is - there is no excuse to cheat. Period!

PS if you stick around here long enough you will read crazy stories if the cheater’s “reason” to cheat. Most of it is nonsense IMO but the cheater uses it to “rationalize“ the choice to cheat.

Everything from “I didn’t think you (the betrayed spouse) loved me” to it was because you were depressed to my all time favorite 🤪 line from the cheater “I deserve to be happy”. Yes we all deserve to be happy. But not at the expense of someone else and being morally bankrupt.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 9:18 AM, Tuesday, May 2nd]

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13897   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8789230
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 12:33 PM on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

The unmet needs fallacy. It's one of the most common fallacious reasons cheaters give for their cheating.

The reality is that every relationship is imperfect. Every relationship partner has unmet needs. But a partner who is committed to the relationship will communicate those needs and engage in trying to improve the relationship.

A cheater will lie to the relationship partner, allowing the partner to remain in the dark with respect to this issue, therefore assuming it doesn't exist. The cheater then seeks external validation via cheating.

This personality characteristic -- the lack of authenticity, the resort to dishonesty, the failure to loop this energy back into the relationship -- that is a flaw in the cheater. Something innate in her. If you're even flirting a little bit with the idea of giving it another try with her, you need to ask her what she has done to explore this part of her, to fix what is broken in her moral character so that she can prove to you she is somebody different than she was, somebody you can trust.

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 4179   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8789238
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 BullfrogProfile (original poster new member #83292) posted at 1:34 PM on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

@This0is0Fine: Good point. I felt that while we were together - she wouldn't do the simplest tasks that I communicated to her that would take some stress off my plate, so I'm too busy or not mentally engaged to take care of your needs.

Don't think she would have cheated at the drop of a hat; she did come from a home where she didn't know her Dad, then her stepdad cheated on her Mom, so not sure how much that played a part.

@The1stWife: Thank you for sharing your story, that is a crazy line.

@Butforthegrace: The one thing I will say is I came to the table with solutions. Not enough sex? I offered to schedule it weekly, plan monthly dates, etc. It would go great once or twice we followed through, then it would fall off. Now thinking about it, it would fall off when it was her turn to reciprocate. The issues with my parents, we went to couples counseling and I did the work to apply what was taught. She noted how much the relationship improved.

posts: 6   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2023
id 8789245
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 1:42 PM on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

Thank you. I shared it just to show how far a cheater will go to "rationalize" the affair to themselves.

The fact my CH would say it to me was crazy. But then again a person in the throes of a midlife crisis affair is acting like a two year old toddler and teenager in love for the first time.

Not much reasoning or common sense changed anything. Sadly he was stuck in the "I deserve to be happy" mantra.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13897   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8789246
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 1:49 PM on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

The answer to your questions……throw them away. She cheated because she wanted to. Her AP must have dumped her, or she got tired of him, or, or, or… Please understand that you had nothing to do with it.
It sounds like she wanted sex at warp speed. That is on her. Conversing about issues is the adult way to handle things. Instead she got the bells and whistles but that honeymoon stage never lasts, then the cheater falls back into reality with a thud. Now she is seeing what her behavior has costs her and she wants you to fix it. How does she think that is going to work?
Keep on keeping on. At 33 you have a very long time to enjoy yourself.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 4228   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8789248
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ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 2:38 PM on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

- 1. How sound is the validity of unmet needs?
- 2. Were they always capable of cheating? I find it hard to believe the person I met 9 years ago could have done this. Was this behavior always in their DNA and I just need to do a better job of seeing the red flags?

1) I would say, not valid at all. I know it sounds really convincing, but the WS makes a CHOICE. In fact, they make hundreds of choices. You can't control someone else's free will.

2) I believe so. IMHO, it's a matter of circumstances at that point. It's easy to be faithful when our hormones are buzzing and every little thing is going our way. It's much more a test of character when the relationship has matured and we're running into everyday stressors.

I'm going to reprint a post for you in order to save myself some typing, but IME, yeah.. it's about character. It's unfortunate that this "unmet needs" model of therapy is still so commonplace, but really, it doesn't stand up to testing.

My own WH went on a Craigslist binge seven years ago, multiple partners, various degrees of emotional attachment. He even thought he was in love at one point. But ten years before that, I'd caught him out in some online shenanigans, porn, cybersexing, emotional affair, etc. In fact, I caught him out only two weeks before a planned meet-up. I'd already seen an attorney before I confronted him and I was bent on divorce, but he pretty much cried his way out of it and I settled on MC. As you might have guessed already, we too were bamboozled with the "unmet needs" model of therapy, which sounds so reasonable. I upped my wife game, and did my best pick-me polka, but within a couple of years, he was right back at it behind my back. By the time we reached the ten year mark, he had screwed up his nerve to go live and in person on Craigslist.

Of course, I was pretty shocked as you might imagine. I thought we were good. I thought his "needs" were met. Damned if I hadn't been turning myself inside out for a decade to make sure, right? The more I thought about it, the more I revisited what I knew about the "unmet needs model", the less it made sense. I was doing everything right and he still CHOSE to cheat.

Here's the fly in the "unmet needs" ointment...

Healthy ADULTS don't need to be validated. They validate internally. Healthy adults are self-fruitful in the matter of contentment and life satisfaction, and when things come up which make them unhappy, they address the cause and solve the problem. OTOH, the vast majority of cheaters cheat because they're seeking external validation. They are NOT emotionally healthy. They can't do it on their own. They've got a hole inside them and no amount of external validation will fill it. Certainly, the old and familiar validation of a spouse doesn't get the job done. Our "kibbles" are stale and boring. They don't create enough adrenaline anymore to make the cheater feel special. It's like getting an "atta boy" from your mom, right?

This is old pop-psy which is still being taught in schools and still selling books. But it's bullshit. NOTHING you can do (or fail to do) can MAKE another person throw away their core values and do something that's in this kind of opposition to good character. If you're a person who BELIEVES in fidelity, who VALUES fidelity, you don't cheat. End of story. Because when we truly value something we protect it. The cheater has a "but..." in his values system. ie. "I believe in fidelity, but... not if my needs aren't being met." For people like you and me, we have a "so..." in our values system. ie. "I believe in fidelity, so... I don't put myself in risky situations with the opposite sex." This is the BOUNDARY we create organically. We don't sit around planning it out. It just happens, because it's innate to our character to protect what we value. The cheater doesn't have those boundaries because he doesn't really honor his values. He only claims to.

I'm not saying that your marriage is over or that your WH can't change. What I am saying though is that this "unmet needs" model is NOT going to challenge him to clean up his flawed character. In fact, it allows him to offload responsibility onto the marriage and onto YOU. It's not your job to MAKE him feel (fill-in-the-blank-here). It never was. It's his job to manage his feelings. You could have been doing everything exactly perfect for the entire length of your marriage, and he would still have cheated... because there's NOTHING in his character stopping him and he has no coping mechanism to fall back on when he feels unvalidated, inadequate, unappreciated, etc.

It's HIS job to see that his "needs" get met. Sometimes that might mean negotiating with you, say if it's about sex or about the division of labor in your home, etc. But sometimes, it might mean that what he sees as a "need" is unhealthy in an adult, like external validation through attention and flattery.

MC's are there to treat the marriage. The marriage is the client. So, of course they're going to talk about communications, resentments and expectations. The MC doesn't want to alienate anyone, so s/he's looking to find balance on both sides. But marriages don't cheat. People do. The only way your WH is going to make a change that safeguards against further perfidy is by correcting his need for external validation and becoming an emotionally healthy adult whose deeds are as good as his word. No excuses, just honoring the things he claims to value. For that, I would recommend IC (individual counseling) with a therapist who is well-versed in adultery.

The last thing any newly-minted BS needs is to walk into an MC's office, believing that they've come to safe harbor, and being handed a copy of The Five Love Languages or some other "unmet needs" gobbledygook. It would be really nice if we actually did have the power to control our mate by giving them "acts of service" or "words of affirmation", but sadly, we aren't gods who can stop a cheater from seeking out his/her choice of adrenaline rush and new kibbles. Although, this kind of pop-psy suggests that their behavior is somehow our responsibility. The more you dig into this ridiculous line of thought, the more absurd it becomes.

Anyway... sorry for the lengthy post. Nothing fries my ass more than seeing new BS's being sold this bill of goods.



Last conversation she blamed me: "Cheating doesn't start with the cheating, it starts before then," she told me. If only I had met her needs regarding her relationship with my parents and for us not having enough sex. Told me I needed to "dig deeper" as to my role in the relationship.

If she moved out in November, she's had six months thereabouts to think about what she's done. Assuming it hasn't been that long since you talked to her last, this is a remarkable blame-shift. That's the problem with the whole "unmet needs" model of therapy... it's a giant blame-shift, a gaslighting con job. If she's had six months to think about it and the best she can come up with is blaming you, that doesn't speak well of her. I'm sorry. sad

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8

posts: 7038   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8789255
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 BullfrogProfile (original poster new member #83292) posted at 3:11 PM on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

@ChamomileTea: Funny, the poster who referred me here noted you as someone to hear from. Thank you for the explanation, bookmarked.

The last time we spoke was two months ago when she said that, but followed by her losing her best friend, everything she has lost, etc. Only last month she sent me a long text with zero blame. Staying NC.

posts: 6   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2023
id 8789261
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RealityBlows ( member #41108) posted at 6:35 PM on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

Last conversation she blamed me: "Cheating doesn't start with the cheating, it starts before then," she told me. If only I had met her needs regarding her relationship with my parents and for us not having enough sex. Told me I needed to "dig deeper" as to my role in the relationship.

A licensed therapist said this^^??

This is the "Unmet Needs Fallacy" which has been largely debunked by conventionally trained therapists, except for a few controversial outliers.

If your therapist subscribes to this school of thought, you need to fire her before she does you permanent harm.

Yes, the cheating does start well before the actual cheating, in the mind. The cheating begins in the mind well before it is acted upon. And yes, those who cheat are predisposed to cheat by one or more contributing factors and cofactors, the underpinnings of which usually begin in developmental childhood and/or family of origin (FOO) or, as a result of early life trauma(s) or self or reality perception changing events.

These people are out there, and other than a few barely perceptible red flags, blend right into the rest of us flawed humans. They’re like ticking time bombs, their predisposing issues lay dormant, like the Shingles virus, waiting for cofactors (age, time, life stressors, trigger events, opportunity) to come into perfect alignment, and the cheater emerges. Unmet needs can be a cofactor, but never the fundamental "reason" for cheating.

This why it is so important for a therapist to dig deeper into the fundamental issues-causes, and not go after the low hanging fruit (unmet needs). That’s just lazy superficial therapy. SOME MCs subscribe to the unmet needs fallacy because their focus is on saving the marriage, not individuals, and it’s much more expedient to divide blame into equal manageable, un-alienating portions and focus less on the individuals and their deeper, more complex, and sometimes, irreparable, personal issues. They’re basically out to save the marriage, and at the BSs expense if necessary.

Individual Counseling (IC) is just that. It is supposed to focus on the individual and their personal issues that contributed to their decision to cheat, to use mutually destructive cheating vs the many more rational, loving, safe, effective, definitive, caring and conventional forms of marital problem resolution.

I can tell you that EVERY marriage has unmet needs. If you have exhausted all mitigatory measures without success DIVORCE is the sane final option, not cheating. For a therapist to overlook this or try and rationalize it is fallacious, lazy, negligent and incompetent.

If the fundamental factors that resulted in cheating are overlooked, the cheater can cheat again when needs are unmet.

[This message edited by RealityBlows at 6:46 PM, Tuesday, May 2nd]

posts: 1307   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2013
id 8789290
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 8:42 PM on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

Last conversation she blamed me: "Cheating doesn't start with the cheating, it starts before then," she told me. If only I had met her needs regarding her relationship with my parents and for us not having enough sex. Told me I needed to "dig deeper" as to my role in the relationship.

The utter lack of self-awareness and inability to see the irony among cheaters would be hilarious were it not for the pain and destruction that they cause.

She's right the cheating doesn't start with cheating... but the origins are her shortcomings, not yours. She needs to dig deeper into herself and uncover the reasons why she cultivated an inappropriate with another man. She needs to be able to explain to herself and to you why she chose to sneak around behind your back with someone else instead of breaking up with you. She needs to take responsibility for the millions of choices that she made that led to her sleeping with another man.

How sound is the validity of unmet needs?


If she can blame her cheating on unmet needs in your relationship then why can't you blame her for the conditions that led to you not meeting for those needs?

She says, "If you stood up for me when your parents are rude to me, I would've never cheated!"
You reply, "Actually, if you were nicer to my parents, I would stand up for you when they're rude to you."'

She says, "If you initiated sex more often, I wouldn't have ever cheated on you."
You reply, "Actually, if you hit the gym more often, I would've wanted to initiate sex on a more frequent basis."

Does the above dialogue sound like a spiral of absurdity to you? If it does, then you understand why the "unmet needs" rationale for infidelity is complete horseshit. Unless you held a gun to her head and marched her into OM's bedroom, then you are not responsible for her affair.

Were they always capable of cheating? I find it hard to believe the person I met 9 years ago could have done this. Was this behavior always in their DNA and I just need to do a better job of seeing the red flags?

In my opinion (based on my experience with my ex-husband, people I've known who have been through this, and the collective wisdom of SI) is that cheating almost never happens in a vacuum. My ex was a selfish and self-absorbed person who generally put himself first and thought of himself as the protagonist in the drama of life; I was merely a supporting character. I made a lot of excuses for him throughout our relationship (such as when he went to the gym instead of my grandfather's wake or made plans to play football on our anniversary), but I didn't quite realize how much bullshit I was putting up with until we separated and obtained the mental/emotional distance necessary to see things clearly.

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 1931   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8789305
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Greto ( member #80904) posted at 8:59 PM on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

The most interesting to me, is that it seems that many of us BS's had MANY unmet needs yet we did not choose to cheat.

I think it makes it easier for a cheater to use unmet needs as an excuse but I don't think it drives anyone to cheat. It is in their character (which can change and be influenced to a degree).

People change as they age and go through events or meet new people. I don't think everyone who has cheated were always capable. I think something shifted in their moral code and personal values. What causes that? It is different for everyone.

My exWH cheated because that was who he was. Selfish and had very narcissistic tendencies. He was also abusive (mentally, emotionally, and physically).

My current WH cheated for other reasons that I do not think are related to his deep character or person. If that makes sense.

[This message edited by Greto at 9:02 PM, Tuesday, May 2nd]

posts: 115   ·   registered: Sep. 9th, 2022   ·   location: Sandusky, Ohio
id 8789308
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Hannah47 ( member #80116) posted at 11:32 AM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

One more thing to consider here is that many cheaters fabricate those unmet needs as soon as the betrayal starts (and RealityBlows is right – it starts in the mind). They start to rewrite the relationship history. Suddenly, something that has never bothered them before, starts to bother them + they convince themselves it has always bothered them. They convince themselves not only that they are unhappy – they never were happy, or they haven’t been happy with you for a very, very long time. It is as if someone went into their brain and deleted good and happy things about your relationship, so they can only remember the negative ones. And if there are no negatives, they make them up. They overblow little things and interpret your words and actions negatively. They even set you up for failure – damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Few months ago, I started a thread in General ("What made you a villain?") – there you can see how that looks in practice.

They do that to deal with the cognitive dissonance. They don’t value what they have, they take it for granted, they want something else, they are not satisfied with themselves, they can’t take responsibility for their own situation, they can’t face the fact they are shitheads, they want to blame someone else, etc. After DDay, they are still in that fog. So, the perceived unmet needs (or any other grievances) aren’t the cause of the betrayal – they are the consequence.

Fate whispers to her, "You cannot withstand the storm."
She whispers back, "I am the storm."

posts: 369   ·   registered: Mar. 21st, 2022
id 8789372
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 12:18 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

I felt that while we were together - she wouldn't do the simplest tasks that I communicated to her that would take some stress off my plate, so I'm too busy or not mentally engaged to take care of your needs.

Sounds like your needs weren’t fully being met. Why didn’t you cheat? (Tongue fully in cheek)

I’ll tell you why, because you are an evolved emotionally partner. You don’t use infidelity as a way to self soothe at the expense of hurting your partner. If you have issues, you communicate them and work on them jointly.

She was and is broken. She can’t do those things. She doesn’t have the emotional intelligence and would need years in therapy to try and develop it.

Her problem was not unmet needs. It was her ability to understand how committed relationships actually work and humans who truly love each other should actually behave when times are difficult.

You did the right thing. You are wise to stay NC. Best for you and your happiness if you find someone who understands these things and start anew.

I wish you well.

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3602   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8789376
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Lurkingsoul12 ( member #82382) posted at 12:54 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

I once read a cheater's confession of her betrayal. She was married to a 'nice' guy for two years. In the second year and on Christmas Eve, she kissed her affair partner for the first time. She vividly described what happened after her first affair kiss. She explained how it affected her perception of her marriage and her husband. The first thing that happened was the release of pleasure chemicals in her brain. She felt pleasure, which she had not felt for a long time. This was a phase of pleasure. After that, she went back to her home. Now, she was overwhelmed by guilt. This was a phase of pain. To ease this pain, she had two options - End the affair or end her marriage. Otherwise, this cycle of pleasure and pain will continue, and it's not a healthy loop to be in. Initially, she didn't want to do either. She created a third option - cake eating. She wanted to have both. This wasn't an easy option. Nobody wants to face guilt and pain, and shame that comes with it. So, what she did without actually consciously knowing was to rewrite her martial history. She made issues out of things that never really bothered her before. She reshaped the image of her husband. She avoided any physical contact with her husband to emotionally detach from him. Emotional detachment is the easiest way to kill or avoid guilt. She created her own list of unmet needs to further this process. Some of these things were calculated. Some of them were instinctive. This actually works. You can kill guilt through this and can lead double life comfortably for a long time.

We all have this tendency to rewrite history for various reasons. We BS, too, rewrite history to minimize the affair to fast get over it, to fast reconcile, to rugsweep, and to not face and accept the reality that our old relation is over. We don't do these consciously. We do this instinctively.

posts: 457   ·   registered: Nov. 12th, 2022
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numb&dumb ( member #28542) posted at 1:14 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

Jesus H christ on a popsicle stick. If I had a nickel for every "unmet needs, infidekitt story I've read . . .well, I'd have a lot of nickels and would still be broke. Meh.

The unmet needs angle is bullshit. No one will ever meet our needs 100%. Sorry, I've done anectdotal rsearch and the reasearch team has concluded that someone who cheats on you and uses the unmet needs excuse is lying. They wanted to cheat on you so they did. I am sorry, but it is easy to over think things.

I've been on this ride for too long and I have several really shitty T-shirts. My point is that the unmet needs falacy is something invented to sell inadequete "marriage industrial complex," materials for 39.95 plus shipping and handling. It's a lazy excuse for deciding to betray someone.

This sucks. I can't pretty up those words because things like having your spouse betray you sucks donkey balls. I am sorry, but you are better off knowing the truth and some counselors are terrible. If you don't find a good one keep looking. Bad counselors wasted a lot of my time.

Unmet needs justification is lazy. Any,"counselor," who gives that as the reason is lazy and has not kept up on the current way of thinking. Just like any profession not everyone graduated at the top of their class and some of them really don't want to help anyone. Sad? Pessimistic? Yeah, but not changing my answer.

Our spouses cheated on us because they wanted to do so. Many will cite a lot of reasons which are actually justifications to distract you from the harx truth that they wanted to do this. Any answer given is just lies our cheating spouses told themselves to feel better about making a choice they know is wrong and hurtful.

Excuses are like assholes. Everybody has one.

Sometimes cheating, hurtful, fucktards see the error of their ways and sometimes they don't. (See unmet needs and other bullshit).

They are always reasons to cheat on your spouse. While typing this I just thought of seven reasons why I would be justified in cheating on my W. Why would I not do so? Because I have integrity. When I make promises I intend to keep them. Further I can do a lot of things that I can convince myself are justified. I can, but I won't because even if no one found out I would still know and I don't want to live with that. I love myself too much to hurt me in that way.

At the end of the day you only have your word and integrity. Our spouses lost integrity and the ability to be authentic humans who do what they say.

Yeah, Any justification our spouses can come up with make them feel better, but it doesn't help us at all.

There are no shortcuts here. The only way I've found to heal is to work on yourself. Nothing our waywards can say or do come close to the healing I've done on myself. That is the key. Working on yourselve and figuring out that you can do better than having a chezting spouse. You were always worthy and no one ever deserves being cheated on.

Sometimes we have bad days so we can tell the good ones from the bad ones. You are going to have bad days. In those moments it is too easy to peg something we did or did not do to cause our spouses to cheat. We are all individual persons witb autonomy.

Our choices do define us (Sorry waywards reading this). Your task is to figure out if your spouse is capable of change. It is hard and not everyone has the cajones to actually do that.

Sorry, but in this complex mess it really is that simple. Can your husband get his head out of his ass long enough to see it was him and no one else that decided to betray you.

Sure, we can do mental gymnastics about the, "reasons," and other things we could have done to ensure our spouses fidelity. I hate to break it to you, but that is just trying to take agency from our spouses. It was not a choice we made. Our choice comes after Dday. We decide if our wayward is capable of change.

Look, this is getting too long so let me end with this. There are always, "reasons," to betray your spouse. We don'tisten to those voices because we live authentically. We have to figure out if our spouses can do the same.

I am reconciled. It happens. The biggest piece to that was my wife doing a lot of work on herself. I did the same and that is the only shortcut I've found to date.

If you find others please share😄

Dday 8/31/11. EA/PA. Lied to for 3 years.

Bring it, life. I am ready for you.

posts: 5116   ·   registered: May. 17th, 2010
id 8789384
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Edie ( member #26133) posted at 1:20 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

Cheating doesn't start with the cheating, it starts before then," she told me. If only I had met her needs regarding her relationship with my parents and for us not having enough sex. Told me I needed to "dig deeper" as to my role in the relationship.

Cripes, sounds like she was made to do it by gunpoint, must have been quite terrible to have all her agency taken away from her, poor dab.

Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
FWS 55
Together 29 years; 2 kids 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) R'd.

posts: 6639   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2009   ·   location: Europe
id 8789385
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 BullfrogProfile (original poster new member #83292) posted at 3:44 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

Thank you to those who have commented since my last comment.

I agree that in every relationship, both parties have unmet needs. It is impossible to provide everything for someone. There was a point earlier in my relationship when I was flirting with a coworker, and saw where it could have led to and stopped myself because, as you all noted, comes down to integrity/ability to live with myself. My ex was flinging shit (reasons) at me and seeing what sticks.

She did bring up her two issues throughout out relationship - the quantity of sex and her relationship with my parents. I brought solutions to the table. For example, planning date night/sex worked out. The first time, I planned the date, took her out, etc. - I really enjoyed it and so did she. Then it stopped, never reciprocated on her end. With my parents, she brought up CC, I applied what was taught and she commented how much better the relationship had gotten. In her words after D-Day, "issues we could’ve worked on if I just hadn’t been so selfish and appreciated you."

It is what it is; before losing her job, she told me she felt we were in a really good place. Didn't want to be a part of this club, but I owe it to myself to move on - she was STILL seeing AP even after she told me. I told her that was her second chance (when she was begging me for one). Just hate (and had a coworker make a similar comment) when others say that people who get cheated on must've not been a good partner, providing enough (fill in the blank). She acknowledged I was always there for her, supported her, and gave her what she wanted.

My therapist doesn't prescribe to the unmet needs model; told me even if I did everything right, we would still be here/wasn't because I was unfulfilling.

posts: 6   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2023
id 8789403
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 2:33 PM on Monday, May 8th, 2023

Well… One reason this site exists is unmet needs. In most instances somebody in a relationship didn’t meet the needs for trust, reliability, truth, fidelity, and monogamy. I guess we are all here griping about "unmet needs" per se.

Its an issue of a) is the "need" valid and b) how to address the need. Having an affair… that’s like treating bad-breath with a shotgun-slug to the head.

I think the unmet needs theory is an extension of a very common and wide-spread human reaction when one does something that we know isn’t right. It’s an explanation and a justification. This was pointed out to me as a rookie cop by my veteran mentor: No matter the reason or the cause, there would be an explanation to minimize accountability.
If we stopped someone for speeding, they would explain how they were experienced drivers, only following flow of traffic, new vehicle, our radar is off or whatever. DUI it would be flu, had to be the side-effects of their allergy-drug, normally they could handle 2 beers (yeah… but you drank 12…). The dealer would insist he only sold to those that wanted to snort coke. Heck… I even heard rapist explain how the woman wanted it rough, abusive husbands tell me how they had no option but to beat their wife to unconsciousness and – probably the worst – the man who insisted the 10 year old kids he preformed oral sex on didn’t suffer any damage from his acts.

We use these "excuses" ourselves in our daily lives. We justify breaking our diet and having cake because we are going to be extra-long at the gym… and never show up. We try to avoid taxes because "everyone does so". We are going to mow the lawn tomorrow… We are never fired from a job because of our performance, but always because the boss is an ahole… We tend to be very good at justifying whatever we do and/or whatever happens to us.

It takes a lot of self-reflection and personal strength to be honest and accountable. Things that are normally not associated with those that start affairs.
It’s a lot easier to say "I had to cheat because my emotional needs and my sexual desires weren’t being met by you in the marriage" rather than to admit "I cheated because I had issues that I didn’t share with you and therefore I looked outside our marriage". It takes a lot more to add to the later: "and I know I was wrong in doing so". Instead, its easier to add "I wouldn’t have done so had you met my needs".

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 12374   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8790076
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 6:28 PM on Monday, May 8th, 2023

How can we help? Do you want the texts to stop? Do you want feedback on possibly renewing the relationship?

- 1. How sound is the validity of unmet needs?

The concept makes some sense in theory but not in practice. Once one commits to monogamy, they need to identify their wants and ask their partner to help them get what they want. If the partner says 'no' too often, the unsatisfied partner splits without cheating.

I can't see unmet needs as a justification for cheating.

- 2. Were they always capable of cheating?

I think we're all capable of cheating. Opportunities abound, and it takes energy to let them pass by. All it takes to cheat is to meet the wrong person. JMO.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 29891   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8790105
Topic is Sleeping.
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