Infidelity and No Win Situations
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Coping with Infidelity Relationship recovery from the destructiveness of infidelity.

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Old 08-17-2013, 05:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Infidelity and No Win Situations

Before I was shipped off to banned camp, I was on a thread which had a woman who had a ONS.

That, obviously is totally wrong. She inflicted this information on her friend, who should not have had to bear the responsibility. It was a choice. She needed to vent and she was according to all reports, torn up with guilt.

Now, unless you assume that her communication in confidence to a trusted friend is automatically a lie, we are stuck with the fact that these are her true feelings.

Here is the rub:

Hubby arbitrarily stated to his wife that if she cheated, she was history. Period. End of Sentence. End of Marriage.

Now...he can make that choice. But I can't help but feel that she is now stuck in a no win situation. Yes, she should never have cheated. Please don't bother discussing that because it isn't interesting in this discussion.

HOWEVER...if you can believe that people can make mistakes, regret mistakes, and perhaps change...what exactly is she supposed to do?

If she tells the truth, she doesn't have a marriage according to her beliefs. So if she tells the truth, she is leaving a marriage she (again, according to her) desperate to keep together.

So...she lies and has to 'continue to lie'. Some characterize this as not serious remorse and cake eating.

If she had a sense that she could tell and perhaps maintain her marriage, I get a sense she would.

She doesn't have those assurances.

This strikes home to me because my wife and I both shared these sentiments with each other. But having reviewed her situation, I am struck with how this shuts down both Reconcilliation and discussion. If one make a 'mistake' one is forced to lie.

Yes, better not to cheat to begin with. Let us not belabor the obvious.

What are your thoughts? I am stuck.
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Old 08-17-2013, 05:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Infidelity and No Win Situations

It's a fact that in order to come clean you must tell the truth.

I often said "if my wife ever cheated i'm done. That's it." yet the reality of kids, bills and the rest makes the waters murky.

Either way, by not telling the truth it takes the choice away. And so the relationship becomes held together by lies. I don't think anyone would agree that's a good idea.

In hindsight, had my wife self corrected and told me without me finding out, it would have made a world of difference.

In order to prove that they really are a different person they must come clean and accept the consequences. By not doing so, they prove they are still capable of deception.

They cannot apologize without the betrayed knowing what they must forgive (or not). And cheating is something that must be apologized for.
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Old 08-17-2013, 05:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Infidelity and No Win Situations

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD View Post
Before I was shipped off to banned camp, I was on a thread which had a woman who had a ONS.

That, obviously is totally wrong. She inflicted this information on her friend, who should not have had to bear the responsibility. It was a choice. She needed to vent and she was according to all reports, torn up with guilt.

Now, unless you assume that her communication in confidence to a trusted friend is automatically a lie, we are stuck with the fact that these are her true feelings.

Here is the rub:

Hubby arbitrarily stated to his wife that if she cheated, she was history. Period. End of Sentence. End of Marriage.

Now...he can make that choice. But I can't help but feel that she is now stuck in a no win situation. Yes, she should never have cheated. Please don't bother discussing that because it isn't interesting in this discussion.

HOWEVER...if you can believe that people can make mistakes, regret mistakes, and perhaps change...what exactly is she supposed to do?

If she tells the truth, she doesn't have a marriage according to her beliefs. So if she tells the truth, she is leaving a marriage she (again, according to her) desperate to keep together.


So...she lies and has to 'continue to lie'. Some characterize this as not serious remorse and cake eating.

If she had a sense that she could tell and perhaps maintain her marriage, I get a sense she would.

She doesn't have those assurances.

This strikes home to me because my wife and I both shared these sentiments with each other. But having reviewed her situation, I am struck with how this shuts down both Reconcilliation and discussion. If one make a 'mistake' one is forced to lie.

Yes, better not to cheat to begin with. Let us not belabor the obvious.

What are your thoughts? I am stuck.
Perhaps she should tell the truth and see what her husband will actually do. People declare in this situatiuon I would do X but you never rally know until you are confronted with it. I know the thread you are talking about and feel she will cotinue to lie. But I feel you are blaming her husband a bit here by saying he made the situation impossible for her to be honest..actually she did that by cheating. Just my two cents....
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Infidelity and No Win Situations

JCD, she left herself as a hostage to fortune.

Her husband was, eventually, likely to find out.

The how does not matter, but a chance remark from a friend, a tearful confession from the lover who had "got religion" or a host of other ways.

It was a matter of time.
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Infidelity and No Win Situations

Almost no one admits to cheating, thus lying. Its hard to interpret stats because you have to guess what they imply. In her case , if she rats herself out there is almost no chance for R. Only 15% of marriages R when the wife cheats . Is that because betrayal is more unforgivable for men or because when a woman cheats she is already done?

When a man cheats, there is a 45% chance the marriage will survive. I think that's because men just want to get laid and have no intention of losing their family.

A lot of people look over other peoples failures. I guess that's because almost 75% of men and women claim they would cheat if they knew they would not get caught.

There is almost 100% of the cheaters lying since only 80% of affairs are ever discovered.

The worst statistic of course is how many women either know their husband isn't the father of her child and how many do not know who the father is.
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Infidelity and No Win Situations

The Scorpion and the Frog

One day, a scorpion looked around at the mountain where he lived and decided that he wanted a change. So he set out on a journey through the forests and hills. He climbed over rocks and under vines and kept going until he reached a river.
The river was wide and swift, and the scorpion stopped to reconsider the situation. He couldn't see any way across. So he ran upriver and then checked downriver, all the while thinking that he might have to turn back.

Suddenly, he saw a frog sitting in the rushes by the bank of the stream on the other side of the river. He decided to ask the frog for help getting across the stream.

"Hellooo Mr. Frog!" called the scorpion across the water, "Would you be so kind as to give me a ride on your back across the river?"

"Well now, Mr. Scorpion! How do I know that if I try to help you, you wont try to kill me?" asked the frog hesitantly.

"Because," the scorpion replied, "If I try to kill you, then I would die too, for you see I cannot swim!"

Now this seemed to make sense to the frog. But he asked. "What about when I get close to the bank? You could still try to kill me and get back to the shore!"

"This is true," agreed the scorpion, "But then I wouldn't be able to get to the other side of the river!"

"Alright then...how do I know you wont just wait till we get to the other side and THEN kill me?" said the frog.

"Ahh...," crooned the scorpion, "Because you see, once you've taken me to the other side of this river, I will be so grateful for your help, that it would hardly be fair to reward you with death, now would it?!"

So the frog agreed to take the scorpion across the river. He swam over to the bank and settled himself near the mud to pick up his passenger. The scorpion crawled onto the frog's back, his sharp claws prickling into the frog's soft hide, and the frog slid into the river. The muddy water swirled around them, but the frog stayed near the surface so the scorpion would not drown. He kicked strongly through the first half of the stream, his flippers paddling wildly against the current.

Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from the frog's back. A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.

"You fool!" croaked the frog, "Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?"

The scorpion shrugged, and did a little jig on the drownings frog's back.

"I could not help myself. It is my nature."

Then they both sank into the muddy waters of the swiftly flowing river.

Self destruction - "Its my Nature", said the Scorpion...
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Infidelity and No Win Situations

Confessing cheating is usually a lose-lose proposition. It can also be selfish - the cheater eases their conscience, but puts the burden on their spouse. Not confessing is sometimes a win-win situation, IF (and only if) the cheater has learned from their indiscretion and NEVER repeats it. We are human, and humans make mistakes. Compounding a mistake is a greater mistake. It depends on circumstances.
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Old 08-17-2013, 07:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Infidelity and No Win Situations

It seems to me that this is true of any behavior that is socially stigmatized. Sometimes the consequence of telling the truth about a behavior that one regrets is decided by society as a whole, e.g., prison time for robbery. Sometimes, it's decided by an individual, e.g., a parent issuing punishment for a child's misbehavior.

When people face consequences, the ones exacting those consequences can be forgiving and rehabilitative, or unforgiving and/or punitive. There is a wide range of attitude about type of consequence for any given offense.

I don't think that there is a wide range among humans, though, when it comes to lying to avoid consequences. It appears to be a first-order response.

In cases like the one you're citing, my reaction is usually to feel umbrage for the BS specifically because the WS is unilaterally making important decisions for both their lives. I think the BH is owed more respect in the marriage, since it is as intimately his marriage as it is hers. I don't think she has a right to make executive decisions - about cheating, about deciding that he needn't know, about her chances of relapsing, about whether he should stay with her given her betrayal.

So, yes, given what she knows, she will have to lie to ensure that her marriage will survive. I don't think whether her marriage survives after this is solely her decision, though. That fact is part of the marital compact.
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Infidelity and No Win Situations

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfree View Post
The Scorpion and the Frog

Snip

Self destruction - "Its my Nature", said the Scorpion...
Since we are trading stories:

Daze Village Uprising

Two Chinese officers were leading workers/soldiers up north to defend someplace. There were bad rains and flooding and they got stuck in this one province for quite a while.

So, one guy asks the other guy: "What is the punishment for being late to an assignment?"

"Death." answered the other.

"What is the punishment for rebelling against the Emperor?" the first officer asks again.

"Death." he answered again.

"Well, guess what? We're late." the first officer stated.

Absolutism has it's own consequences. So yeah, to a certain degree, the husband gets a small amount of blame for shutting down communication and discussion. That is the whole point of a no win situation.

***

But...you need to listen to what you are saying with that fable:

Waywards should never try to Reconcile.

Their spouses should never try to Reconcile despite statistical evidence that the majority of cases of infidelity actually stick together.

What about the kids? We don't know what causes infidelity, so the kids are fruit of the poisonous vine either through genetics or teaching from the duplicitous wayward. Are you going to warn the paramours of your children away since they probably have the cheating cooties?

How much do you really believe in determinism vs. free will?

I have lied once or twice in my life (Have you?)

I have stolen a thing or two in my life (Have you?)

I have even...sob...been drunk once or twice in my life (Have...I think you get the picture.)

Now, according to the Scorpion absolutist metric, I am a lying drunken thief and I shall be a lying drunken thief always and forever.

I don't want to believe these things about me. Do you want to believe them about yourself?

Now...I DO believe in scorpions. But I do not believe every bug that has stung me is a scorpion, unchanging and spiteful enough to kill just because without thought, reflection or remorse.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Infidelity and No Win Situations

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD View Post
Before I was shipped off to banned camp, I was on a thread which had a woman who had a ONS.

That, obviously is totally wrong. She inflicted this information on her friend, who should not have had to bear the responsibility. It was a choice. She needed to vent and she was according to all reports, torn up with guilt.

Now, unless you assume that her communication in confidence to a trusted friend is automatically a lie, we are stuck with the fact that these are her true feelings.

Here is the rub:

Hubby arbitrarily stated to his wife that if she cheated, she was history. Period. End of Sentence. End of Marriage.

Now...he can make that choice. But I can't help but feel that she is now stuck in a no win situation. Yes, she should never have cheated. Please don't bother discussing that because it isn't interesting in this discussion.

HOWEVER...if you can believe that people can make mistakes, regret mistakes, and perhaps change...what exactly is she supposed to do?

If she tells the truth, she doesn't have a marriage according to her beliefs. So if she tells the truth, she is leaving a marriage she (again, according to her) desperate to keep together.

So...she lies and has to 'continue to lie'. Some characterize this as not serious remorse and cake eating.

If she had a sense that she could tell and perhaps maintain her marriage, I get a sense she would.

She doesn't have those assurances.

This strikes home to me because my wife and I both shared these sentiments with each other. But having reviewed her situation, I am struck with how this shuts down both Reconcilliation and discussion. If one make a 'mistake' one is forced to lie.

Yes, better not to cheat to begin with. Let us not belabor the obvious.

What are your thoughts? I am stuck.
There is no substitute for honesty, no matter how hard it may be.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Married but Happy View Post
Confessing cheating is usually a lose-lose proposition. It can also be selfish - the cheater eases their conscience, but puts the burden on their spouse. Not confessing is sometimes a win-win situation, IF (and only if) the cheater has learned from their indiscretion and NEVER repeats it. We are human, and humans make mistakes. Compounding a mistake is a greater mistake. It depends on circumstances.
Have you ever been cheated on? Or were you the WS? I really cannot believe anyone with a little bit of conscience would post this.

When my STBXW wanted a divorce, she didn't tell me about the affair. She made it all about me, that it was my fault that she was leaving me. She made me feel like a particle of dust, too insignificant to be worthy of anyone's compassion.

Let me explain to you what would have happened if I didn't discover of my STBXW's indiscretions on my own. I would have to live the rest of my life blaming myself for the dissolution of our relationship. I would have to be the dark soul which destroys everything that it touches. Have you ever had that feeling? Do you honestly have any idea what a burden that can be?

Almost all the stories I read here, and from everything I have seen in real life, cheaters never confess. They always blame the BS. Then some of them get caught. Then they cry and tell their sorry stories of how broken they are. That's the only thing they get right.

I believe in second chances. But I also believe in consequences. If you follow an action, you have to face the consequence. You cannot run forever, sooner or later it will catch you. In case of cheating, second chance might come, but only after the truth has been revealed and the consequences played themselves out. Without complete, unadulterated truth there is no marriage, no reconciliation, no happily ever after, it is just a sham, a mirage, a skeleton covered in a glittery drape reminiscent of broken dreams and shattered ideals.

That's all.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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life101

You are projecting the details of your relationship onto this hypothetical even though it doesn't fit.

That isn't what this is about.

Hypothetical: Wife has a ONS (NOT an affair) Hubby is rigid in his thinking (that might be the reason men divorce so much Chap...or that they think they can trade up easier...or get away from Married responsibilities...or...but that is a thread jack)

Wife, appalled at what she's done, tries to change her life, her patterns, and stay with the husband...without coming clean. Yes, Matt, it might very well blow back at her.

So...they stay married. She tries like hell to be a good wife. All the married benefits still accrue to the couple and their kids...wife has a serious case of the guilts...but that's part of her penance (the other is the dread of it coming out anyway).

The husband WAS damaged...but he is not CURRENTLY being damaged except for not getting a choice and not knowing how low his wife CAN sink (not consistently sink).

It isn't a great choice...or even a good choice. To some people's calculations, it's better than a divorce in which everyone loses a lot bigger that the damage of the ONS.

BUT...I will admit I'd prefer to know. This is hypocrisy...which is a venal sin to me.

YOUR situation sucked, but it isn't relevant HERE.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I think its a simple problem, with a simple solution.

No matter how good the M apparently was prior to the cheating, if the WS truly loves their BS they must share the information with them.

I think it is impossible to claim you love your partner and then lie to and deceive them. No exceptions.

Any argument about the merits of keeping the A/ONS a secret is unacceptable to my way of thinking.

I would be far more furious if I were the BS about the lying then about the act of cheating itself.

I would view such acts as a blatant manipulation of myself for the benefit of the WS so that they never had to face consequences or provide me with the opportunity to make a choice about the M that THEY didn't want.

Frankly, when they cheated, they gave up the right to have their feelings considered in that decision.

They should have stayed loyal if they wanted their desires to have some bearing on the choice to maintain the M.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Infidelity and No Win Situations

Again, this is projection.

2ntnuf, you KNEW (the pain comes with the knowing) and the affair seems to have been semi public. So the public damage to your relationship and reputation was real.

Is that what I am discussing? No. This scenario is two cheaters who don't talk, don't repeat. The pain comes when she tells the truth to her husband. The damage comes when she confesses. Unless you buy into that this one lie is so corrosive that it will destroy the relationship anyway. That is a difficult prospect to prove, since by definition, any unknown infidelity is unknown.

And honestly, I am not here to debate the basis of telling or not telling. I am here to discuss how this one statement forces lying.

I am struggling with that idea particularly the benefit of it's efficacy in stopping infidelity vs. what it causes regarding shutting down communication.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD View Post
life101

You are projecting the details of your relationship onto this hypothetical even though it doesn't fit.

That isn't what this is about.

Hypothetical: Wife has a ONS (NOT an affair) Hubby is rigid in his thinking (that might be the reason men divorce so much Chap...or that they think they can trade up easier...or get away from Married responsibilities...or...but that is a thread jack)

Wife, appalled at what she's done, tries to change her life, her patterns, and stay with the husband...without coming clean. Yes, Matt, it might very well blow back at her.

So...they stay married. She tries like hell to be a good wife. All the married benefits still accrue to the couple and their kids...wife has a serious case of the guilts...but that's part of her penance (the other is the dread of it coming out anyway).

The husband WAS damaged...but he is not CURRENTLY being damaged except for not getting a choice and not knowing how low his wife CAN sink (not consistently sink).

It isn't a great choice...or even a good choice. To some people's calculations, it's better than a divorce in which everyone loses a lot bigger that the damage of the ONS.

BUT...I will admit I'd prefer to know. This is hypocrisy...which is a venal sin to me.

YOUR situation sucked, but it isn't relevant HERE.
Cheating is cheating. The marital contract has been broken. A new contract has to be drawn, with everything in the open so that everyone can make the best decisions. That's the basis of trust in a marriage.

You may think that my situation doesn't apply here because of many reasons. But my argument still stands IMHO. If a BS doesn't know, the BS will always think of it as the BS's own fault. The truth and only the truth will set the BS free.

We don't deserve anything in life, except the right to live free.
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