Both sides of the equation 

One of the interesting and unexpected things that happened as a result of starting this blog was reading other bloggers and the interactions among them. I have found myself face to face with victims of infidelity. Whereas I would be the transgressor, or as some put it, the monster. Their words are heavy; their emotions strong. It makes me really question why I was writing this at all, and what I expected to get out of it. 

To all of you who have been cheated on, and have had to deal with the aftermath, I’m terribly sorry. Your pain comes through in your writing, and really affects me. I feel a lot of empathy for you. 

There are some common themes I keep seeing too that really upset me. The first is the leaving of children. It’s as if these fathers just completely abandon their previous lives, children and all. I love my children, and the thought of leaving them and turning my back makes my stomach turn. I really do not understand how anyone could do that. To me those people do not deserve any respect. 

The other theme I see is simply being an asshole. Before their spouse is aware of what’s going on they drain bank accounts or start living their new life at her expense. It’s pretty shitty. It makes me think that to many of these men once you check out then you no longer have to treat your spouse with any respect. Like it’s a game of gotcha. That is complete bullshit. 

I’m still not sure what I want to do with my future. However I have learned a few things I do NOT want to do. I will NEVER abandon my children. Ever. End of story. I love those children. 

And I still love my wife. Whether it works out or not I want to treat her with complete respect. I know it is not my choice but I would like to stay friends and be good co-parents to our children if we do split. This will probably piss a lot of people off and perhaps I am dreaming but it is what I hope for. Throughout I will treat her with the kindness and respect she deserves, and do all I can to make her life as comfortable as possible without me in it. 

That leaves many things left unknown and future decisions still to be made, but I did want to share some thoughts on what an unexpected gift writing this blog has become. I’m sure over the coming months I will learn even more. Thank you all. 


12 thoughts on “Both sides of the equation 

  1. When I discovered Bear’s affair, I was completely blind sided. I’d had absolutely NO idea it was happening. When I confronted him, he admitted what he’d done, how far it had gone, and many (not all) of the details I asked for. He was completely remorseful about how much pain I was feeling, and has worked pretty hard at making the dissolution of our marriage as easy for me as possible. Because of this, I have been able to recover much more quickly. It really has helped. It’s his hope that we can remain friends after this. The only times I have thought that it won’t happen are the times I’ve discovered lies and deceits.
    Here’s where I give you a little unsolicited advice: tell your wife about your feelings for another woman before she discovers them on her own. AND SHE WILL. Give her the respect of choice as far as your relationship is concerned. Because knowing you’ve been betrayed and lied to by the one person who is supposed to have your back above all others is the worst feeling in the world. If you truly love her and want her to be happy, you have to give her the truth. Keeping this from her is a selfish and disrespectful act. If Bear had come to me with this information instead of leaving me to find it myself, we could have worked through it. But I cannot forgive the lies, nor the lack of respect. I deserved better, and because of the way he handled it, I’m leaving so that I may.
    Just my two cents. You’re in an unenviable position. Good luck.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If we do split I do hope to have things the way you do. I know it is not all my choice though.

      I do have a question for you. If Bear had ended the affair. Completely. And time has gone by and he was faithful to you again. In that situation would you still want to know? He made a mistake. He recovered, and righted himself. I know morally fessing up is the right thing to do, but if you were both happy again, and it was over would it be worth tearing all that apart?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In my situation, yes. There was a fault in our marriage that allowed the affair to flourish. Ending the affair doesn’t mean that hole isn’t there any more, and I can’t fix what I don’t know is broken. It wasn’t until too late that we uncovered the real reason he began the affair, and I had no idea he’d been struggling because he didn’t think he could talk to me about it.
        In your situation, I see similar things. Ending your affair might be morally correct, but there are still big holes in your life and needs that your wife and marriage aren’t filling. Without an open and honest discussion, you aren’t choosing your wife – you’re settling for her. And that’s not fair to anyone.
        Telling her will not be easy. You may end up losing them both. As you said, you can’t control that. What you can control is your level of honesty, both about your affair and the unfulfilled needs that led you there. Because when you ignore a problem, that problem will always get worse. You will become more unsatisfied, more unhappy, and more lonely. And you will find yourself some day in another affair or married to a woman you don’t even like any more. Maybe both. The only way to a chance of a satisfying future is to acknowledge the problems you have now.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Also: he didn’t make a mistake. He made a thousand choices, little and big, that led him there. It wasn’t a one time thing. A one time drunken bang I could have overcome. The thousands of lies, omissions, and deceits I couldn’t.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I applaud you for wanting to do right by your wife. I’ll leave off that pesky clause about cheating on her. I do have a question for you, though.

    You talk about not abandoning your kids. Not abandoning her financially. Paying your support. Not draining bank accounts. I think the whole “I want to treat her with respect” train has already passed by but kudos to you for not wanting to drag her any further through the mud. What happens though if upon finding out what you’ve done your wife doesn’t want to play ball? What happens if your kids, who I know are very very young at this point, find out one day what happened between you and their mom and they no longer want anything to do with you? Are you still going to do your best to do right by them?

    I don’t ask these questions to be a raging bitch. I think it’s one thing to believe you’ll co-parent well with her, you’ll never leave your kids behind, you’ll treat the ex-wife/their mother with respect, you’ll be friends and everything will be fine- you’ll just be going home with someone else. It’s another thing when the shit has finally hit the fan and she’s pissed off beyond belief. She’s not cooperating over anything. She refuses to co-parent with you, tells you you can do whatever the hell you want and she’ll do the same. She won’t sit with you at ball games or recitals or high school graduations. She tells everyone, and I do mean everyone, what you and your mistress did. Maybe she sues for sole custody and you see your kids every other weekend. Maybe she ends up getting a settlement that leaves you financially destitute. And then your kids get mad at you and won’t talk to you. You are no longer the wonderful daddy who can do no wrong. You’re the father that cheated on their mother and broke up their home. Maybe they even turn against your mistress and refuse to see you if she’s around. It’s easy to envision this peaceful future where you two go on to be friends, co-parenting right along with your mistress, one big happy blended family. You know why? Because SHE didn’t do anything to YOU. She didn’t cheat and break your heart. She hasn’t already replaced you. It might work out the way you imagine. Sometimes it does. Not often. I certainly wouldn’t bet on it. More than likely things are going to be tense and rocky and very unfriendly.

    I have no clue what goes on in CF’s head but I do know that in the beginning he tried being friendly, tried acting like nothing had happened. He still wanted us to “develop a new relationship based upon us being happy for one another”. I think it’s quite possible that if the kids hadn’t been pissed off at him for throwing this tsunami in their laps only a year after moving them away from their friends he might have made more of an effort to stay in contact with them. I think that their refusal to have anything to do with him made him dig in his heels and reject them. Then again, I’ve come to believe he’s just a disordered asshole so it probably wouldn’t have mattered what we did.

    So the real question is can you still stand by your convictions when things aren’t going the way you planned?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just love your remarks Sam. No one questions things the way you do. No one can take a bucket of cold reality, and dump it over my head quite like you do. I’m literally smiling after reading this. It’s great to get honest, hard hitting feedback. Very real. You gave me a lot to think about, and you have the experience to back it up. This was a long comment though. I would love to respond with another post rather than cram it in this little comment window, if that’s alright with you?


  3. Maybe you are writing because you want people to see the other side of the story?

    The world is never black and white and neither are relationships.

    Thanks for this post, I like it and it has made me think. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

      1. Guilt is a wasted emotion… OK, not really but it sounded good to say it. LOL
        I will say that things always happen for a reason so one should never have any regrets about the choices we have made.

        You are right, it is your story to tell and you should tell it. It’s almost like therapy. 🙂


  4. I’ve been giving this topic a lot of thought myself, probably will be posting my own thoughts on it in greater detail in the future. On the one hand, many in the “adultery” community feel that you need to lump all cheating into one basket and any attempts to say “but, I’m good to my wife and kids” is just trying to white wash the situation. At the end of the day we’re all just a bunch of cheaters living the same basic lifestyle. And from that standpoint it can always make us feel better since we can sit down as a homogeneous community and not give two shits about how far any of us will go to satisfy our desires, since sky’s the limit.

    Then on the other hand, the “normal” monogamous faithful folks out there want to throw us all into the same hand basket (the one bound for hell) for a different reason: so we can all be equally condemned, and why not perpetuate this mantra? It is a powerful deterrent to keep people from stepping outside the line.

    I suppose all these sides have their points, but I’m not sure what we gain by oversimplifying perhaps one of the most complex situations we can come across in this life that touches and interacts with every aspect of daily life. My personal feeling is that adultery is morally wrong and unacceptable. I do it anyways. I made a promise to my wife that I’d be faithful, that I’d take care of all her physical needs through my work, and that I’d take care of all her emotional needs through my love. I violated the agreement, even if I got the other 2 out of 3, even though I have no intention of ever stopping my care for her and my son no matter what happens. And so what if she also hasn’t honored her promise, she hasn’t loved me in years, far longer than I’d been cheating, she readily admits she hates me, that all I can ever be to her and my son now is a provider. None of this is simple, the roots and pain run much deeper than just briefly described. We both have our reasons I suppose, my behavior doesn’t justify hers and hers doesn’t justify mine. I know neither of us are right. But, who’s worse? I don’t know, does it matter? We each own our own sin, that’s all I can say because to say anything more would generalize to inaccuracy a situation that just shouldn’t be generalized. I’m not advocating moral ambiguity and relativism, I believe we need objective moral standards and everyone should stand up for what is right, but what I am saying is sometimes getting it right isn’t all that simple, as incredibly imperfect individuals, it is something we continually must discover and strive for. And trying to oversimplify marriage, relationships, and adultery isn’t helping anyone get there.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to get off on a personal tangent. In any case, I wish you well on your journey and the path you’re taking. I’ve made some similar decisions, I’ll never abandon my son and never stop caring for my wife, and for me, I believe they are the right ones.

    Liked by 2 people

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