Better to know the devil you are with?
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Considering Divorce or Separation If you're considering divorce or separation, this is the place to talk.

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Old 02-27-2012, 10:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Better to know the devil you are with?

I have a tendency to write novels on the message boards, so I will try to keep this thought concise:

For those who have been cheated on in a marriage, or even worse, for those who have been through more than one marriage and cheated on multiple times, how can you come to the belief that it will not happen again?

I finally put my foot down to my wife's unhealthy lifestyle last year and only with the threat of me leaving her forever did she come out of the fog and realize how much of an unfaithful person she's been for years and years.

So that was then and this is now. She has plenty of good qualities aside from her immaturity of acting like a single high school girl, and I did see a fear in her eyes that I never saw before, so I think perhaps with the exposure to our friends and family along with heavy therapy, she is evolving.

So my thought is, with infidelity rates perhaps as high as 80% depending on where and what you read, is working through the huge challenge of an affair a better option than dropping someone, moving on, only to find yourself in a similar, sad, situation down the road?

Clearly I'm jaded at this point and I do acknowledge there are people out there that remain faithful, but with the financial burden of a divorce as well as the complications a split household will bring on our kids, I can't warm up for a divorce right now...
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Better to know the devil you are with?

Well, in my situation with my hubby and I R'ing and him being totally transparent now, I think it would be impossible to get that level of transparency from a new person who hadn't cheated on me. My first husband cheated on me multiple times, although that wasn't what finally split us up, we never dealt with that aspect of our relationship when we were together. But having had it happen twice to me, I know that if I were to enter into a new relationship at this point, the poor guy wouldn't know what hit him.

I do not think that this would be a good reason to stay in a relationship if it were the only reason. We all deserve to be happy, and I am very happy now being with my hubby, but there's a lot more reasons besides the fact he's the 'devil I know'.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Better to know the devil you are with?

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Well, in my situation with my hubby and I R'ing and him being totally transparent now, I think it would be impossible to get that level of transparency from a new person who hadn't cheated on me. My first husband cheated on me multiple times, although that wasn't what finally split us up, we never dealt with that aspect of our relationship when we were together. But having had it happen twice to me, I know that if I were to enter into a new relationship at this point, the poor guy wouldn't know what hit him.
I think about this too. I would want transparency in any relationship I was in... I know it's not fair to the new person but I would offer the same. Now if I ever am in the situation where I have a new person I might change my mind, but I can't see it now.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Better to know the devil you are with?

That's not what I entered into a relationship for. I perfectly understand your reasoning but I don't feel like I should "settle" because statistically it might happen again. If one goes into a relationship expecting infidelity then what's the point in pledging monogamy? I'd much rather be single and live out casual relationships. I also believe there is a huge disparity in the pain inflicted and again, I didn't enter into a relationship to be tortured for years or live with an individual I resent.

I'm speaking exclusively from an objective view here however. Some people might have a lot of history together or their partner showed genuine ,sincere remorse and so reconciliation would've been easier, but I don't know, it seems.......unfair to be honest.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Better to know the devil you are with?

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I think about this too. I would want transparency in any relationship I was in... I know it's not fair to the new person but I would offer the same. Now if I ever am in the situation where I have a new person I might change my mind, but I can't see it now.
I had to have that transparency from my new Husband, and he didn't cheat. It's just the way it has to be with me...baggage, if you will, from my past. We all have some.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Better to know the devil you are with?

I am struggling with this very issue currently.

On the one hand, she is fully remorseful and wishes to go back and un-do what she's done, and I don't believe she'd ever do it again.

On the other hand, she did it... I was 2nd choice, taken for granted, and will never forget that.

So am I better with this devil I know -- including what I know that I despise and makes me sick -- or with someone else who hasn't chosen to inflict this permanent damage to me?

Or... with no one at all and a remaining lifetime of casual relationships?

A few weeks ago, I swung toward choosing to be alone rather than living every day with someone who's done this to me (although she and our MC insist she didn't do it "to" me...). But reality is, I just don't know what's "best"... I lose either way. A lifetime of "knowing", and of doubting her... or a lifetime of not knowing and doubting the decision. There simpy is no winning answer.

But you raise a fair point, as there's so much reality to consider when splitting up (finances, household, kids, families, lifestyle) IF you can live with the WS. I know I am damaged goods to any future relationship partner anyway, and I don't envision nor want any permanent relationship now. So where am I better off?
If i did enter another relationship I'd probably choose someone who's also had it happen to them, in the hope that we'd protect each other.

LOL I wonder what infidelity factor she'd choose in her future.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Better to know the devil you are with?

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I had to have that transparency from my new Husband, and he didn't cheat. It's just the way it has to be with me...baggage, if you will, from my past. We all have some.
I totally understand. I think I will need it too. It's a shame that those who follow our WS have to 'pay' for their mistakes.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So am I better with this devil I know -- including what I know that I despise and makes me sick -- or with someone else who hasn't chosen to inflict this permanent damage to me?

Or... with no one at all and a remaining lifetime of casual relationships?
Why do you assume you won't meet a person with whom you'll spend a good part of the rest of your life with?

Or, short of that, what's wrong with several short term more casual things over the years.. if it doesn't work out, you move on. Meanwhile you've got the great sex and the excitement that goes with a new relationship, over and over again.

I'm 5 years post divorce (no infidelity), and in the past 5 years or so, I've had about a half dozen relationships of short to long duration (2 months to 2 years) with loads of intimacy and it works for me. I don't "expect" to spend the rest of my life with one woman, I don't plan to EVER get married again, and I don't know if I'd ever cohabitate with a woman again but one or two came close. I've got my own place, I'm with a woman because I want to, and because she wants to be with me, the sex is intense, frequent and exciting, and I've got somewhere to go when and if things get rough.

I don't see there being any comparison to those two options versus staying with a person who deceived and disrespected you via their infidelities and who has "inflicted permanent damage".

None whatsoever.

I think what the post quoted above really says is "I'm scared to be alone and go back out there and start meeting and dating so I'll stay with a person who has totally messed with me and ruined my life".

Not that there's anything wrong with that, I just don't see it as being the best available option.

Last edited by hisfac; 02-27-2012 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Better to know the devil you are with?

Cost benefit analysis leads me to believe I'm far too damaged for any semblance of a normal relationship with anyone else so there's no point. All I'm considering in my own head is how best to be alone.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Cost benefit analysis leads me to believe I'm far too damaged for any semblance of a normal relationship with anyone else so there's no point. All I'm considering in my own head is how best to be alone.
Sounds self defeating to me.

Are you depressed?

Unfortunately, if you allow yourself to stay in this situation you'll never know how good it can be once you get through it and out the other side.

I've been there, I AM there. Like I said, no infidelity here, but the rest applies. Long term marriage, failed, I thought life was over as I knew it, I moved out, got divorced, I rebuilt my life and I'm quite happy... although I have my down moments for sure.

But the point being, I was where you are now, and back then when people told me things do get a heck of a lot better there's no way I believed a single word of it.

It's all in your mindset. The mind plays tricks. And when you're depressed, and stuck in a rut, and only seeing the negative, it's impossible to imagine that things can possibly get better.

In your case.. it's clear to see that, contrary to what you believe right now, things can only get better.
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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No not depressed. Just a realist. I no longer know what 'normal' looks like. I am sure I could not maintain a normal relationship with a normal person at this point. Too much water under the bridge. And that's ok. Not everyone gets 'normal' not everyone gets true love.
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Better to know the devil you are with?

RLD, was your marriage always this unhappy?
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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No not depressed. Just a realist. I no longer know what 'normal' looks like. I am sure I could not maintain a normal relationship with a normal person at this point. Too much water under the bridge. And that's ok. Not everyone gets 'normal' not everyone gets true love.
I was compelled to read your profile details.

Given what you have written there, if true, I can understand why you think you cannot sustain a normal relationship with a normal person.

You might be better off just being alone. At least for a while to get it sorted out and then maybe some day stick your toe back in the water.

But to stay with this woman just because she's "the best of the worst" options, is no answer.

That will leave you destined for perpetual misery.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I can only speak for myself, but my thought process weighs heavily on my kids and what type of life I envision them having without me there a majority of the time. Do plenty of kids turn out fine? Certainly. Is the upbringing a child experiences different when mom and dad are apart? Certainly.

My wife is a good mother, and we get along. I realized recently that I married my friend from high school. As "shocked" as I was when I exposed her most recent affair, the reality is that I was not shocked at all, but rather choosing to stop accepting a life as a doormat. I knew along she was capable of this and never really trusted her. Add in the bull$hit history we have post high school and what we have here is a guy (me) that figured things were good enough with his first real girl that he should propose. She said yes, because I suppose I was marriage material, despite the fact she was in a relationship with another loser at the time. It's was a mess, but we are both to blame in that I pushed forward even though I knew things were not right, and her of course because she treated every relationship of hers AND her marriage as if it was casual dating.

The rest of my story is on this site, but I've realized that we remained immature kids somehow through the seven years of our marriage, and maintained our respective roles as if we were still dating like in high school. Except for having wealth, a house, assets, and kids. Woops.

I left the house for three months and even dated someone else. The rebound was fun. Intense. But guess what? With young kids I was far from being single. I could hardly manage my seperated life without a kid related responsibility. I also missed them and it weighed on me that I was choosing dinner and hot sex over them (that is at least how I felt at the time). I don't want to judge others for their decisions, but I now understand why some folks decide to give it another shot even after their spouse laid on the ultimate betrayal (like that pun?) when kids are involved. There is no clean break, the baggage is tremendous.

Lastly, my wife is remorseful, and she is a good person and well liked. I go back to this concept of a weighted average, and even putting a big price on infidelty, she's worth another shot, I think. Each to their own, but I also put a lot of stock in the simple things like reading a book and tucking the kids in, which unfortunately go away in a large quantity for a dad in a divorce.

I will admit that if there were no children involved, I'd be gone, but the kids altered my whole thought process, and based on what I'm feeling inside, I don't think it's simply the stay together for the kids concept. It was more like the kids were the catalyst in putting an extensive amount of thought in all of this, and I have made it clear to my wife that she has them to thank at the moment for me considering R.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:20 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Better to know the devil you are with?

For me, lovestruckout's mindset is where I started, but hisfac view is where I am ending up.
I gave it my shot, almost 10 months, to try to R, more for the sake of my 7 yr old son than anything else. I think lovestruckout kind of hit upon it -- as I weighed the choices, the best interest of my son was my tipping point to try for R. When you add the cold, harsh realities of the financial aspects (she doesn't work), supporting two households with current income *will* affect my son with some material impacts; it has to. I didn't want to impact him if I could help it.
But I've ultimately came to realize I just couldn't do it. I couldn't look across a room or a table and *know*... all of the time, whether I wanted to or not, for the rest of my life. To know what she's done, to doubt her, to not fully believe in her. It's just there and it will never go away, now matter how much therapy I go through. That's the thing about infidelity, you can never take it back no matter how badly one might want to. It can never be un-done.
So I move onward, yes hisfac you are partially right, I will move on. But like lovestruckout says, children play an enormous factor in the new lifestyle...weekends will not be swinging single life, it will be the compressed quality time I will get with my son. And while I don't think I'm as down as say RLD is, I do know that my own issues will impact every relationship I might have in the future. Quick to anger, highly suspicious, take zero crap, insist on maitaining an arm's distance emotionally, intimacy issues, diminished self-confidence, averse to or even against a long term permanent relationship, and certainly "out of the game" of single life (ugh)... Hopefully I will also have learned some positive impact traits like working harder at communicating all of the time that it will balance out to make me at least acceptable.
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