The cheater feels worse than the cheated... Discuss!
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Coping with Infidelity Relationship recovery from the destructiveness of infidelity.

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Old 02-05-2012, 08:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The cheater feels worse than the cheated... Discuss!

My OH did something that bothered me the other day that triggered what happened with the OW (I found him in a mild EA that got cut off before it developed.)

I was quite to-the-point and logical - ie "when you do x it reminds me of y, I find it hurtful, please don't continue to do it."

He got defensive and when he was talking said that I "probably don't believe it but sometimes the person who did the bad thing feels worse than the person who had it done to them."

My first reaction was, "I can't believe that!" but if I said he is a genuine person who says what he thinks, I know there is some heartfelt belief to him that he feels this.

FWIW he's been good at rebuilding and things are good between us. I'd be really interested to hear what others think about this statement. Has anyone's cheating spouse said something like this? Can any cheating spouses relate? Any thoughts?
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: The cheater feels worse than the cheated... Discuss!

The pain of being betrayed is incomparable to anything else one could ever feel. It seriously makes you question every.single.thing and makes you wonder what was real? What wasn't real? It's a deep-searing hurt unlike any other. There is simply nothing that even comes close to that feeling.

A cheater who is actually remorseful also deals with pain. A different kind of pain. It's a "WTF have I done/how could I/I am a piece of sh!t" for doing this. Guilt is a motherf-cker. Not living up to a standard you held for yoursself is awful. Knowing you've betrayed someone you love is very hurtful.

There is pain on both sides, (I speak from experience).

So yes both feel pain. But for him to say his pain is worse than yours is stupid. He should not try to minimize yours or say that his pain is greater. Empathy goes a long way.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: The cheater feels worse than the cheated... Discuss!

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Originally Posted by Jellybeans View Post
The pain of being betrayed is incomparable to anything else one could ever feel. It seriously makes you question every.single.thing and makes you wonder what was real? What wasn't real? It's a deep-searing hurt unlike any other. There is simply nothing that even comes close to that feeling.

A cheater who is actually remorseful also deals with pain. A different kind of pain. It's a "WTF have I done/how could I/I am a piece of sh!t" for doing this. Guilt is a motherf-cker. Not living up to a standard you held for yoursself is awful. Knowing you've betrayed someone you love is very hurtful.

There is pain on both sides, (I speak from experience).

So yes both feel pain. But for him to say his pain is worse than yours is stupid. He should not try to minimize yours or say that his pain is greater. Empathy goes a long way.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: The cheater feels worse than the cheated... Discuss!

I believe Jelly because she has been both LW(BW) and DW(WW). She experienced both types of pain.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: The cheater feels worse than the cheated... Discuss!

And I can tell you they BOTH suck royally. It's icky. And that is putting it in very light terms. I wouldn't wish the pain from being cheated on or the guilt from cheating on anyone. They both seriously mess with your head.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: The cheater feels worse than the cheated... Discuss!

Jelly is correct from my experience and I too have been on both ends.

The difference in my mind is that the cheater can end/minimize his pain/guilt quicker by simply coming clean where the BS is just screwed until they can get past it.

The worst of the pain I felt cheating all but ended once I came clean.
That`s when it started for the betrayed.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: The cheater feels worse than the cheated... Discuss!

I too have been on both sides. I did not know the depths of despair until I was cheated on.
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: The cheater feels worse than the cheated... Discuss!

I've been on both side too, tobio, as you know. I was cheated on first, and the pain is greater than anything I've every experienced...physically, mentally and emotionally. It's worse than the pain of losing a loved one.

The pain of being the cheater is more like "death by a thousand paper cuts." It hurts...we bring it up...no one cares and that hurts even worse...it hurts more...we bring it up (or try to)...no once cares and it gets worse...ad infinitem. And even when you slip off the slippery slope and the snowball starts rolling and gathering momentum, the pain of being the cheater is more like resentment and self-focused anger than the nuclear bomb of foundational destruction that occurs when you are cheated ON.

Being the loyal spouse, EVERYTHING you based your life on is in damaged and in question. You can't trust yourself, your own perceptions, what you believed, who you believed...it is all wiped out. That just is NOT the case when you do the cheating.

HOWEVER, having said all that, I will say that is sounds like your FWH may need a bit of acknowledgement that he hurt too, and that it wasn't only "you." I'd say just mention it or in some way let him know that you do realize it was painful for him as well.
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: The cheater feels worse than the cheated... Discuss!

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the pain of being the cheater is more like resentment and self-focused anger than the nuclear bomb of foundational destruction that occurs when you are cheated ON.

Being the loyal spouse, EVERYTHING you based your life on is in damaged and in question. You can't trust yourself, your own perceptions, what you believed, who you believed...it is all wiped out. That just is NOT the case when you do the cheating.
When I told my girlfriend about how my ex-wife had betrayed me, she asked me if I no longer trusted women in general and I told her no, that what I no longer trusted was my judgement in finding a faithful woman.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: The cheater feels worse than the cheated... Discuss!

I agree totally about it changes your perception and reality. I don't think even now he fully grasps it. Compared to many on here my story is "mild" as to what he did. However the effects have caused a lot of heartache.

I cannot imagine just how he could feel worse than I have. I recall saying many times that he cannot know how it feels to think that so many things around you that you thought you knew, believed and understood, to be false or put into question. I mean right down to the little things. The complete upheaval of your world. He does not have that. He has always known how I felt and feel about him. My commitment to our relationship. He has never had cause to question that.

Whilst I understand he feels guilt and remorse, I feel almost angry for him to even say that because it shows he does not possess that empathy to put himself in my shoes. He says he does and compares it to issues that cause him stress or have done, but they are not the same.

I think he is meaning a guilt, also a frustration that my feelings at times which he finds troublesome, are doen to what he did. He wants me to feel better and when I don't it's a reminder to him of what he did, something he deeply regrets and almost disassociates himself from because it is so far removed from the usual "him.". So I don't doubt he feels very bad. I can see it and feel it. I just don't think he will ever truly understand what that betrayal does to your whole world.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:11 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: The cheater feels worse than the cheated... Discuss!

I don't think cheating should be some kind of pi**ing contest as to who is hurt most. That kind of attitude is what leads to cheating in the first place. So the comments reveal that it's the same old same old just new words to an old tune.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: The cheater feels worse than the cheated... Discuss!

HNU

No I didn't mean it as a contest. I meant it as my OH lacking empathy into how deeply what he did affects me. Of course he could say I lack empathy about how deeply it affected him. I think it's the WAY in which cheating hurts rhe cheated that makes it more profound and life-altering.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:33 AM   #13 (permalink)
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In my opinion, the fact that he is experiencing pain could be evidence of his empathy.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:42 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: The cheater feels worse than the cheated... Discuss!

I have been absolutely miserable. I know all about the questioning of everything. When she left to move in with the POSOM, she told me that she gave up on us 4 years before. Now whenever I look at photos the first thing I do is look at the date then do the math to see if she loved me when it was taken.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:54 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: The cheater feels worse than the cheated... Discuss!

What I want to know is, why does my wife still get upset when I try to talk to her about her cheating. Yes, it was 8 years ago, but she was a total B afterward, for years. I cheated after I found out about hers, but I didn't feel bad because I felt justified in my actions. I regret it, but don't feel bad at all. She says she is remorseful for what she has done, and punishes herself everyday for ruining the relationship, because her actions changed me. But when I try to get her to talk, about both of our transgressions, she gets upset when it gets to her. I have no problem talking about what I did. I explained to her that it was all reactions to what she did and how she acted after. I guess she gets upset because she doesn't have a reason, as she cheated within our first year of dating when things were pretty much perfect.
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