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Unhappy marriage/ unhappy person?


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Old 19th November 2013, 9:59 AM   #1
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Unhappy marriage/ unhappy person?

I have repeatedly witnessed over the years, and of late here, that there appears to be some discrepancy over which is the latter/former of the WS's 'unhappiness'. and the assumption that this person MUST be in an 'unhappy' marriage at the time of indulging in an affair.

I have experienced many situations where the marriage has 'issues' that need addressing and working toward common solutions, but also been privy to situations where the marriage IS to all intents, healthily functioning in all quarters (including the sexual frequency/intensity of the relationship).

The other person involved with the wayward frequently views the marriage as 'unsuccessful' by virtue of their involvement with the married person, pitched of course by the web of deceit and lies afforded them.

Is it not an interesting subject to debate that while the affair partner holds the belief that the lover's marriage is corroded/unsustainable/doomed, whether or not they have been led to this conclusion by the lover, that the perception of just pure greed and self indulgence, meaning that the spouse is unhappy as a person regardless. Could this be the catalyst for the wayward, or is that simply too much to consider in light of the affair as a whole?
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Old 19th November 2013, 11:42 AM   #2
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The only real frame of reference I have is my own. For me, it was not as simple as fitting into one cut and dried category. So I will describe all three:

Unhappy marriage - no physical intimacy, no affection, I aspired to be the quintessential loving submissive wife and he did not want to lead, he could not keep a job and didn't really want to HAVE to work full time, we had a terribe cycle of me expressing feeling, him dissecting what he thought was illogical about the feeling, me trying to plead my case, him poking holes, me just caving in to stop the hurt

Unhappy person - I was NOT always an unhappy person....but at the point where I cheated I felt ugly, unworthy, as if my value was dependent on how someone else viewed me, no longer seemed to have the tools to validate myself, was insecure, was hard and angry and resentful

third party - I am not sure he individually was a factor, except that not only was he male and found me attractive, he seemed interested in ME and seemed to validate my stance that my husband should be paying attention to me; it would be inaccurate to say he "lured" me or anything because I willingly crossed boundaries

I do not think that everyone who cheats is in a horrific, soul-sucking marraige. I do think that a WS tends to...embellish history.

BUT...I have a hard time wrapping my mind around a person with a truly fulfilling marriage who is truly emotionally healthy just deciding to cheat one day.
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Old 19th November 2013, 11:49 AM   #3
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My FWS was one depressed, complaining, miserable person briefly, and had distanced so many loving relationships.

We begged him to get counseling, meds, whatever it took to become whole and happy, especially with us.

Because we both loved and empathized with him, we alternated between trying too hard, or placing less demands upon him. Big mistake.

When he finally started to turn a corner, he crashed into her. She knew nothing of his personal failures and so he was allowed to reinvent himself in her adoring eyes and paint himself as one , true, bonafide hero sooo unappreciated.

Of course I and our kids were blamed. He didn't yet have the courage to see how his own actions led to how miserable he was.

In therapy he learned that it wasn't how little he was receiving from the marriage that was the source of his pain; it was how little he was giving to it, us, and all other interpersonal relationships.

Rings true, no?
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Old 19th November 2013, 12:01 PM   #4
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There were no issues in our marriage or engagement to be married. It is my belief that

AP MM believed my wife simply was not the monograms kind and that while she was happy to marry me (a nice guy) she would always want to have some fun on the side with him both sexual and emotional. This is why he kept at her - he believed she was always going to be a mistress or have things on the side. It was not so much about me or the marriage but about her ability to be happy and thrive in a conventional marriage to anyone.


WS presented nothing but positive (mostly) view of me and marrying me but she did admit she missed parts of her past lifestyle and with him as she was about to settle down she was unsure. So she kept and emotional relationship a thread to him.

In my particular situation it really came down to not unhappiness with me but wether she was ready to settle down grow up and commit her full heart to one man. Wether WS could truly be happy in this - and AP and one or two others had this disbelief about WS as well. Sometimes I do as well worry about this to this day - maybe monogamy and marriage is not for her.


Not sure if this helps with the point of this thread.
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Last edited by dichotomy; 19th November 2013 at 12:06 PM..
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Old 19th November 2013, 12:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spark1111 View Post
My FWS was one depressed, complaining, miserable person briefly, and had distanced so many loving relationships.

We begged him to get counseling, meds, whatever it took to become whole and happy, especially with us.

Because we both loved and empathized with him, we alternated between trying too hard, or placing less demands upon him. Big mistake.

When he finally started to turn a corner, he crashed into her. She knew nothing of his personal failures and so he was allowed to reinvent himself in her adoring eyes and paint himself as one , true, bonafide hero sooo unappreciated.

Of course I and our kids were blamed. He didn't yet have the courage to see how his own actions led to how miserable he was.

In therapy he learned that it wasn't how little he was receiving from the marriage that was the source of his pain; it was how little he was giving to it, us, and all other interpersonal relationships.

Rings true, no?
OMG...this post resonates with me like nothing I've read on here in a long, long time.

This is a very accurate description of exactly what happened in my own situation. This describes my wife exactly leading up to, during, and after her EA. And it describes precisely what I did as well.

I could have written this post word for word.
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Old 19th November 2013, 12:48 PM   #6
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Assuming that a married person who cheats in an unhappy person is not that far fetched.

Assuming that it's the marriage that is making them unhappy is a much bigger problem.

People become unhappy for all sorts of reasons, and many times, it has zero to do with their spouse or marriage ( although they end up being cast in the role of 'villian", as people seem to have a need to blame there ephermerial issues on something/someone, and the spouse is an easy target)
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Old 19th November 2013, 12:56 PM   #7
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The most important relationship is the one that we have with ourselves. If that is not healthy, there is no way you can have a healthy relationship with ANYONE.

As witnesses here, there are even WS that would view someone else's affair as a big WTF. There are WS that did not self-advocate strongly enough (not meaning communication/therapy) and make the choice to divorce because the marriage truly was unsustainable, and they paid a horrific personal price.

The scenario that Spark describes happens often in the slippery slope affairs. They didn't go looking to have a "need" that wasn't available inside the marriage met. Their relationship with themselves and how they interact with those closest is where the dysfunction lied. In those situations, often in therapy, there is no need for MC, only IC.
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Old 19th November 2013, 12:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
I have repeatedly witnessed over the years, and of late here, that there appears to be some discrepancy over which is the latter/former of the WS's 'unhappiness'. and the assumption that this person MUST be in an 'unhappy' marriage at the time of indulging in an affair.
I've seen a marked commonality amongst MW's in that, uniformly, I've yet to meet one describing herself being in a happy and fulfilling marriage who has had an affair. Uniformly, they describe their M's as unhappy. Unsurprisingly, the ones I've known where I also know their H and/or interact with them socially seem to put forth a completely different impression in public so, at some level, they prefer to project the appearance of a happy marriage regardless of how they would describe it.

Generalities exist which tend to separate the genders on this issue, specifically that a man can be in a happy marriage and still cheat/be unfaithful but, as an outlier, I can't find a strong reason to debate in favor of the generalities. In the cases of my male friends, they divorced when they were unhappy. So far, none have stated or alluded to affairs in a happy marriage. Of course, it's impossible to know with any certainty what's in a person's mind, so the debate continues.
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Old 19th November 2013, 1:05 PM   #9
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Absolutely. My mother has always battled depression so I grew up understanding someone that is a "glass half full" person. My ex husband was the same; he was never happy. But he wouldn't do anything to be happy either. This was a major issue for us as he refused counseling, changing jobs, etc. to try and be happy.

I don't tend to be unhappy and actually am a little . . . . twitchy about too much "Eeyore" like behavior. So I know with my AP I really tried to dig into whether what he said seemed correct, was it him, situational, etc. as I knew that people that tend to be perpetually unhappy also tend to not make changes to help the issue. So giving up on the relationship was a long process for me and a hard one.
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Old 19th November 2013, 1:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rumbleseat View Post
Assuming that a married person who cheats in an unhappy person is not that far fetched.

Assuming that it's the marriage that is making them unhappy is a much bigger problem.
Interesting topic indeed. I was about to write a novel on this thread until I saw this post, and I think brevity would serve the same purpose just without the detail.

My marriage never been what I would describe as unhappy, but I can't say it is necessarily happy either. It is just kind of there.

I'm a very happy person. And while I can't say this 'blah' of a marriage made me unhappy, it left me wanting more. More that I knew was out there. So while I did check out emotionally, I was still a happy person. When I happened upon someone wanting to give me that 'more' I was wanting, it was not a difficult decision to make.
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Old 19th November 2013, 2:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spark1111 View Post
My FWS was one depressed, complaining, miserable person briefly, and had distanced so many loving relationships.

We begged him to get counseling, meds, whatever it took to become whole and happy, especially with us.

Because we both loved and empathized with him, we alternated between trying too hard, or placing less demands upon him. Big mistake.

When he finally started to turn a corner, he crashed into her. She knew nothing of his personal failures and so he was allowed to reinvent himself in her adoring eyes and paint himself as one , true, bonafide hero sooo unappreciated.

Of course I and our kids were blamed. He didn't yet have the courage to see how his own actions led to how miserable he was.

In therapy he learned that it wasn't how little he was receiving from the marriage that was the source of his pain; it was how little he was giving to it, us, and all other interpersonal relationships.

Rings true, no?
It most certainly does. Marriage is the ultimate partnership, and as such means that giving and receiving within it should be 'equal'.

When one hears the adage that marriage is hard work, it is because it takes continued effort to invest wisely and generously in it.
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Old 19th November 2013, 2:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by carhill View Post
I've seen a marked commonality amongst MW's in that, uniformly, I've yet to meet one describing herself being in a happy and fulfilling marriage who has had an affair. Uniformly, they describe their M's as unhappy. Unsurprisingly, the ones I've known where I also know their H and/or interact with them socially seem to put forth a completely different impression in public so, at some level, they prefer to project the appearance of a happy marriage regardless of how they would describe it.

Generalities exist which tend to separate the genders on this issue, specifically that a man can be in a happy marriage and still cheat/be unfaithful but, as an outlier, I can't find a strong reason to debate in favor of the generalities. In the cases of my male friends, they divorced when they were unhappy. So far, none have stated or alluded to affairs in a happy marriage. Of course, it's impossible to know with any certainty what's in a person's mind, so the debate continues.
Agreed in the majority.

Of course it is difficult to evaluate effectively because I doubt there are many who would admit that they cheated for the hell of it, and that they were otherwise happy in their marriages. That would indicate a narcissistic streak at the very least.
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Old 19th November 2013, 3:07 PM   #13
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So basically, all of the other responents on this thread (who are all BS's) feel that the reason a person cheats is solely because of unhappiness within themselves, and, if the marriage IS by some fluke unhappy, the cheater probably made it that way.

I wish now I hadn't responded or hoped for....objectivity?

If only I had KNOWN all those nights that I was crying because the man who promised to cherish me wouldn't touch me or trying to figure out what to do since the money was gone an he STILL wasn't looking for a job that I was the problem......

Thanks for the illumination.
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Old 19th November 2013, 3:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by janedoe67 View Post
The only real frame of reference I have is my own. For me, it was not as simple as fitting into one cut and dried category. So I will describe all three:

Unhappy marriage - no physical intimacy, no affection, I aspired to be the quintessential loving submissive wife and he did not want to lead, he could not keep a job and didn't really want to HAVE to work full time, we had a terribe cycle of me expressing feeling, him dissecting what he thought was illogical about the feeling, me trying to plead my case, him poking holes, me just caving in to stop the hurt

Unhappy person - I was NOT always an unhappy person....but at the point where I cheated I felt ugly, unworthy, as if my value was dependent on how someone else viewed me, no longer seemed to have the tools to validate myself, was insecure, was hard and angry and resentful

third party - I am not sure he individually was a factor, except that not only was he male and found me attractive, he seemed interested in ME and seemed to validate my stance that my husband should be paying attention to me; it would be inaccurate to say he "lured" me or anything because I willingly crossed boundaries

I do not think that everyone who cheats is in a horrific, soul-sucking marraige. I do think that a WS tends to...embellish history.

BUT...I have a hard time wrapping my mind around a person with a truly fulfilling marriage who is truly emotionally healthy just deciding to cheat one day.
Then you experienced three crushing contradictions which must have been terribly difficult and confusing intermittently.

A husband who failed to return your efforts to create harmony and reciprocity and hurt your feelings with disregard of their value, which in turn created a feeling of being undervalued (unhappiness), and then a man who re-established your worthiness and desirability.

You must have been in a dreadful place.

As you rightly state, often the marital history is re-invented and embellished to suit the suitor.
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Old 19th November 2013, 4:35 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by experiencethedevine View Post
Then you experienced three crushing contradictions which must have been terribly difficult and confusing intermittently.

A husband who failed to return your efforts to create harmony and reciprocity and hurt your feelings with disregard of their value, which in turn created a feeling of being undervalued (unhappiness), and then a man who re-established your worthiness and desirability.

You must have been in a dreadful place.

As you rightly state, often the marital history is re-invented and embellished to suit the suitor.
I was in a terrible place. The choice to react by cheating is still my responsibility. I did not HAVE to cheat. Sadly, however, if anything I downplay our history because I feel so bad about choosing to cheat.

I never thought I was unique - just a garden variety person who cruely ignored her values for a time. But I may BE an exception because even my BH will attest to the unhappiness of our marriage and his part in it.
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