I'm no doctor or professional in this area. I've been through some of the worst marital issues one can experience and I've been betrayed thoroughly.
I'm beginning to develope a loose theory about adultry/infidelity. I think honestly that you must be out of your mind to betray someone close to you as your spouse. Litterally mentally ill.
Now, I know that there are situations where there is physical abuse and psychological abuse (I'm talking about real psychological abuse, not the petty accusitory or lazy kind) verbal abuse, child molestation within the family and other kinds of things that contribute to the other spouse seeking for someone better or to be rescued from a very bad situation.
Lets talk about two people in a seemingly good marriage, and I read alot about these kinds of situations on the site (usually from the end of the unfaithful spouse in the brinks of indecision) a good marriage that has all the promising factors to last a lifetime, and one just isn't fulfilled. They find another person after the honeymoon phase of the marriage ends (naturally) and the next thing you know, lives are ruined for no reason at all other than one persons seemingly compulsive need for alien affection.
good old-fashioned adultery is not about mental illness, but about consciously deciding to indulge in a relationship outside the marriage, whether it's for love, lust, attraction, vanity, power, whatever, because one person feels he or she is not getting "something" from his/her partner.
mental illness, on the other hand, can cause one make choices that are "normally him/her" – it can cause you to second-guess the very things you love and walk away from them because you find yourself disassociating from them. At least this is what I've discovered from bouts of depression. A good regime of the right medicines can bring your blood chemistry back into whack and your behavior more or less straightens itself out, again, something I've discovered from experience.
however, someone who is bi-polar or is affected by a compounded mental illness may respond differently than the person who just needs a little medicinal "tweak" to get blood-chem straightened out, and most often has lived with their condition for a while. So, they may have embraced or adopted certain behaviors from the get-go that are harmful to themselves as well as to others.
you can't really say that all cheaters have mental health issues, and not all people with mental health issues cheat. Sometimes, there comes a case where both elements are present, but it's not really the rule.
Ard.. you are not even wanting to read my posts because you are still in denial about your wife. You need to find some mental help for yourself. Stop romanticizing the past and start working on yourself. Don't analyze her or try to fix her. You can't. It is an awful thing you are going through but until let go of that need on wanting to fix her you will continue to feel worse.
Next time you talk to her, tell her the only way that you would even remotely think about getting the relationship back together is if she goes to a psychologist with the understanding that she is there to fix what is wrong with herself and that you will be doing the same. She needs to be there for the long-term.
I think cheating is mostly a result of being selfish, of not thinking of anyone or anything other than your own needs and wants. For some people that degree of selfishness is rooted in mental illness, but not for all. For some people that selfishness is a result of how they were raised, attitudes and behaviors they were exposed to, and especially of how and whether they ever faced consequences for misbehaving. For other people that selfishness is somehow part of their personality and they can't change. But no, I don't think mental illness is a cause of all cheating, just some.
We are one of those couples with a seemingly perfect marriage. Perhaps womanzing is a mental illness I don't know. But it has nothing to do with me or the marriage. He cheats because he craves reassurance. That I love and adore him was never enough. That he stood to lose me and harm his children wasn't something he really considered. Is that mental Illness? I don't know. I do know that many people in affairs stop thinking logically. In the chicken/egg argument I would say that for the average person, the "mental illness" happens as a condition of the affair not a precursor.
No offense, but a lot of people who had bad marriages that ended in divorce told me their therapist said their expartners had a classic case of NPD. I don't really think it's a legitimate mental disorder, perse. It does help people feel better when professionals tell them this about their exes who treated them like crap, so I don't mind it really.
--One who forgives an affront fosters friendship, but one who dwells on disputes will alienate a friend.
--A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones
--A friend loves at all times, and kinsfolk are born to share adversity
Please note: The suggestions and advice offered on this web site are opinions only and are not to be used in the place of professional psychological counseling or medical advice. If you or someone close to you is currently in crisis or in an emergency situation, contact your local law enforcement agency or emergency number.