Thursday, March 18, 2010

Different roads, Same Destination

I have to apologize for beginning and ending this week with posts relating to infidelity. I guess with all that's going on with my sister, and after reevaluating my own infidelity, the topic has been on my mind of late.

Gentleman Jack has admitted to me that since I've cheated before, he is worried that I could do it again. I told him that, in my mind, since he has never cheated, I would assume that he could do it.

"But I'm not like that," he said, "I know all of the hurt and pain that it would cause and so I avoid that at all costs."

Then there's me. Since I have done it before, and have personally experienced the pain caused on both sides of infidelity, I have no desire to do it again. Been there, done that.

We found it interesting that we seem to handle life differently. Whereas he avoids discomfort, sometimes I throw caution to the wind in the name of experience and then learn about the discomfort. I don't think I do this consciously. It seems to be what I have done thus far.

Maybe that is why it took til now for us to find each other. 

We took completely different roads and wound up at the same destination. 

*** 

My mom and I were discussing how my sister's husband is handling their situation, how Mom handled my father's infidelity and how I handled my ex-husband's infidelity. All of us resorted to spying. We wanted to know EVERYTHING so we didn't feel like we were going crazy. We were being told lies and we wanted proof that we were right!

"Why would you do that?" asked Gentleman Jack. "When I knew my wife was cheating, I didn't need proof. If they're lying and you know it, why try to prove you're right and they're wrong? Do you want to be right? You know when the trust is gone. That's when I knew the marriage was over. Why would you want proof of how much they were hurting you?"

I found these conversations interesting because we were in similar situations and did different things.

I would think most people would want proof. Then again, Gentleman Jack has a point. Why look for details when you're already hurting and your marriage will most likely never recover?

My husband didn't want to know details when I finally admitted to my affair. He didn't ask questions. He didn't show much of any response, quite frankly. He did ask, however, when I began questioning him about his own affair.

Ugh. Not so fond memories.

Now I'm curious... how did you handle infidelity in your marriage? Did you spy too? Were you the one spied on?

17 comments:

  1. Hmmm. I wasn't the cheater, but I was spied on.

    Now I am the one who is desperate to know EVERYthing - and there is no evidence of cheating at all.

    I am smart enough to know that if I keep looking, I will bring about the very thing I fear - and it is that very knowledge that keeps me looking because I don't want to be caught by surprise! What a crazy round robin.

    Crazy,indeed.

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  2. well I can't answer this for sure but I'd thik a simple admission would be good enough for me. Now if it was a swap situation or something like that, something I consented to I'd think I'd want all the details!

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  3. I'm sooooo glad you're talking about this! I can't address is on my own blog, and I NEED to get it out!!!!

    I totally spied! STALKED is probably a better word. I HAD to know *everything* I wanted ever single nasty detail. I have no idea why. Maybe I needed to see the truth, in order to accept that it was real, and not just a horrible nightmare? Maybe it gave me a little control over the sitation, I was taking more information instead of just accepting whatever he was willing to give me. And I wanted answers to the usual questions: Is she prettier than me? Sexier than me? Is the sex better? What does she do she do for him that I didn't?

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  4. I SO hear you on the whole "throwing caution to the wind in the name of experience" thing. I used to say that I would rather regret the things I DID do, rather than the things I didn't. So I get you.

    When I admitted to not being faithful to my exhusband, he didn't want any details...at all. In fact, he showed little reaction and seemed to want to forget all about it. It was the wrong reaction for where I was at that time.

    If I were in a situation where I suspected that my partner were cheating, I admit, I would snoop. 'Cuz that's just the kind of person I am...

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  5. There was no infidelity in my marriage. BUT when it ended, I did seek out proof that I was right about my ex's drug habits. I KNEW drinking was again an issue, because he'd come home smelling of booze. But I started to suspect that drugs were once again becoming a major habit again, when he started getting home from work right before the freaking sun was coming up.

    He likes to tell people that he left me. When in reality, I gave him a choice: the family or the drugs and alcohol. I came home from work two days later and he was gone. His choice was made.

    To confirm that I was indeed right about his drug use I hacked into his Facebook account. His inbox was full of party plans, people telling him what they had for him, etc. Once I knew I was right, there was no question in my mind that we were done. And he has asked to reconcile about half a dozen times.

    To me, what I went through, is just as bad as cheating. When people cheat, their partner feels deceived and like they were possibly not good enough. I felt those exact same emotions when my marriage fell apart.

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  6. I KNEW in my gut something was happening. I was working shiftwork, so I wasn't home at night much. He was out at the bowling alley where she worked and he played a lot (we were overseas with the AF at the time.) He'd come home late after saying he was shooting pool with friends. He distanced himself.

    I withdrew even more, then tried in desperation to pull him back. I came upon them once when they weren't expecting it. I saw him playing with her necklace in a way that was very intimate. I knew.

    He went back to the States for a month or so. When he returned, he took to calling his high school girlfriend a lot. I could hear them talking on the phone. He wasn't even subtle about it, though he said they were "only friends". I knew better.

    I took a 4 month assignment to Spain and sent him back to the States. Little did I know, but it would be the last time I'd see him. He didn't send anything to me for Christmas while I was away alone. I sent him divorce papers.

    I heard a few years later that he'd married his HS girlfriend and that they were "in the same place" as where he left me. Karma's a bitch.

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  7. In my marriage, I have no doubt that I was cheated on.

    I found an email, but not by spying. I was looking for a password that I had forgotten and it was automatically sent to his email- imagine my surprise when I saw an email from Mandy that started 'hey you....'

    I confronted him and of course he denied everything. That was the closest I ever came to actual proof but the signs were all there.

    Since then, I haven't sought out further proof because I tend to agree with Rascal's take on things- once the trust is gone, does it really matter anymore? You're expending time and energy to pour salt in an open wound, when you could be on a path to healing. If you can't trust the person that you are supposed to trust more than anyone in the world with your life, your love, your heart... then it's time to walk away.

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  8. I KNEW when my husband and best friend first started their affair but what had transpired was sooo far out there that I tried to talk myself out of it and rationalize their behavior. But then, when I could no longer deny it, I HAD to go and "catch" them to really accept it as truth. LIek I had to see it to believe it. And that I did. A day I will never forget. It was 8 years ago this month.

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  9. I'm on that side of not needing or wanting to know any more. I've been in the situation too and it hurt enough as it was, I didn't need to sit and find and twist the knife so to speak. In my situation, the other woman also thought she was in an exclusive realtionship and she wanted to talk to me, wanted to ask questions and know details and I just couldn't do it, didn't want to do it.

    I can understand the other point of view, it's just the route for me.

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  10. When the trust is gone and you're spying, what's the point in staying together? Whether there's cheating or not...

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  11. I agree with Rascal, but I don't understand it. I can't stop myself from wanting to know and I don't understand others that don't need anything, like answers. That seems more unhealthy to me. I am probably wrong though.

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  12. No infidelity, but I am divorced and just wanted to let you know I'm here and say hello. :)

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  13. Can't answer from experience. But, I imagine I wouldn't want all the details - I would hope for simple "yes I did it" the rest would probably hurt too much. Although I do think I would want to know who it was so I wasn't the only one in town without that info and find myself sitting side by side her without knowledge :p

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  14. I would not want details, my X wanted a divorce...then after we agreed to divorce, both found houses to move into etc. he found out about the man I was seeing.

    He wanted details, inappropriate details I refused to share. That resulted in his downward spiral, stalking, cyber stalking, and eventually bringing a gun into my house and trying to shoot me.

    I'm with Sunshine...been there, done that. Wouldn't ever go there again as either the one cheated on, or the one doing the cheating.

    Sometimes lessons in life are learned the hard way, as was the case here. However I do know that I don't need details. When the love is gone, when you don't trust or in our case when you don't feel anything one way or the other then just move on.

    L.O.M

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  15. Oh, and having been the one who was spied on, I would NEVER do that to anyone. I honestly feel I was violated. He read my private emails to my lawyer, my mother, my best friend, my lover. He broke into my private spaces, he has made me feel unsafe in my own home. He watched me while I was sleeping and vulnerable. He has made me feel paranoid. He has had me followed by private investigators.

    All in all neither one of us treated each other well and we'll both pay the price for that for a long time. I'm positive I'll never look outside my relationship for love and acceptance again...I'm not so sure about him not stalking someone, even me, once he gets out of jail. He's still visiting crazy town...

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  16. My ex was a cheater (multiple offender) and I guess there is something to men. I just never wanted details. It didn't take much to know enough that it did happen. But in her fear of constant cheating, she began to think I was going to do it, so she constantly spied on me. And it made her worse, she went into a cycle "he will cheat on me" to "I will cheat on him first" to "I know he will cheat on me, because I just cheated on him"

    terrible cycle. I just didn't want the details. I knew she was cheating and that was already too much information

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  17. The infidelity turned me into someone I didn't want to be...a spy...and sort of cheater. It made it that much easier to leave. Losing myself was the worst thing I could have done. How can I be good for the kids? What kind of message was I sending? Now they get to see a happy, healthy relationship, one I hope they will model their own after.

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