How often have you heard or read something that I read today on another blog (related to an affair?) — “That WHORE ruined my marriage!!”, as if this woman forced a guy to cheat on his wife. Or “That jerk seduced my wife and now my marriage is over!!” It’s a common thing to read or hear.
In general, society looks at the other man/other woman as being the responsible party in an affair. It’s understandable that the other man/other woman become the target for the rage and anger the deceived spouse feels. Blaming the other man/other woman keeps us from having to take responsibility for the problems in the marriage and our own feelings, so we like to pretend that if it hadn’t been for that other person there would have never been an affair.
Problem is, there would have been, it just would have been a different other man/other woman.
Spouse’s who use this tactic — who overly focus on the OW or OM — are in a sort of denial. You see it here on the blogs. Or on message boards. A sort of continuous offensive against the third party, who, while hardly an innocent bystander, is in reality, the symptom of marriage gone wrong, not the cause. It’s a common tactic though, but in reality, it’s just a way of providing some cover for their spouse. After all, if the OM/OW was evil, then you can’t blame your cheating spouse as much, can you? And it provides a sort of inner-denial for themselves — that they weren’t anything but a perfect spouse and in no way had anything to do with the marriage going down hill so far that their spouse sought another relationship.
Newsflash! Except in fairly rare exceptions, expert after expert reports that happy and content people don’t have affairs. The other man/other woman didn’t ruin your marriage. It wasn’t a good marriage!! IT WAS ALREADY RUINED. It is probably the reason your spouse had an affair — their very unsatisfying existence with you, right or wrong, and/or issues within themselves!
The OM and OW, not matter how charming, how sexy, how cunning, didn’t force your spouse to do what they did. They chose to do it. And generally, people choose to have affairs because of profound, long-term unhappiness in their marriage. And so at least 50% of that part is on you, the Betrayed Spouse. It’s not an excuse for the affair, but it usually is the reason. The sooner you come to that conclusion, the sooner you will stop displacing blame on others and away from yourself and deal with the core issues of your marriage and your spouse that made the affair possible.
And many Wayward Spouses go along with this tactic for largely the same reason — as long as their Betrayed Spouse is focusing on the OM/OW and going after them, they are less on the hot seat. I’ve seen it. Some of the WSs even find that it’s a sign of love that their BS is willing to go after the OM/OW — physically, verbally, or by telling their spouse or employer! They like it and are more than willing to cooperate in this tactic.
And they don’t give a crap what the OM/OW is going through or that they basically threw them under the bus. They just want relief from the torrent of anger from their spouse. Any diversion of attention from them is welcome, even if they have betrayed their “soul mate”.
While I understand the motivation, it’s a sad tactic. A waste of time. And won’t move the ball down the field even one inch towards being honest and recovering a marriage.
The OM/OW was no more responsible for your Wayward Spouse’s choice than a spoon is responsible for making Rosie O’Donnell fat!! If you think the OM/OW somehow forced your spouse to have an affair, or that they are THAT persuasive, then you must think your Wayward Spouse is a weak-minded twit. And if they ARE indeed this weak — that all it took was someone coming along to offer them an affair to take it — then why would you want them anyway? It doesn’t make sense. Either you think your spouse is a weak-minded fool, or, your marriage is so weak and poor that they chose to have an affair. It’s that simple. It’s one or the other.
A Wayward Spouse can take full responsibility for their poor choices, but a smart Betrayed Spouse — someone who wants to actually save their marriage, not just cast blame on the Wayward Spouse or the OW/OM — uses this as an opportunity for serious reflection on themselves and their marriage. Those that don’t end up divorced anyway.
A betrayed spouse focusing on the OM/OW for their role in the affair? A silly waste of time and a clever divergence of attention away from themselves and their Wayward Spouse. Which won’t get you any closer to forgiveness and healing (although clearly some aren’t trying to rescue their marriage — they’re merely seeking justice and recompense. They will end up divorced).
Hey, I don’t like my OW now. At all. But I never blamed her for the affair. And neither has my wife.
But even when you focus the blame squarely where it belongs – on your wayward spouse or partner – it doesn’t mean that you, the Betrayed Spouse, don’t or shouldn’t feel visceral hatred of the affair partner. After all, they got involved with your husband or wife, and in many cases, exploit the situation to their own advantage. They tried to take what was yours. They offered the forbidden fruit to your spouse! Hate is normal.
My wife does not blame the ex-OW for the decisions I made. Not at all. She has apportioned blame correctly!! HOWEVER, it doesn’t mean on a visceral level that she doesn’t have real and deep hatred for the ex-OW either. She wishes to destroy she who destroyed, even though logically she knows that I am to blame for all my decisions. Her hatred of the ex-OW coexists side-by-side with her correct focus on me and my bad decisions. She ‘gets it’ — the ex-OW is not the cause of our marital problems, but a very large symptom of them. That being said, “she done hate da bitch too!”
Why do you? You certainly don’t need to feel affection for the OM or OW, but look for the reasons your affair happened, not the instrument.
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