Every once in a while, I run across commentary about my blog, and me personally. Usually by bitter betrayed spouses. Almost always inaccurate. I don’t take them on directly. They will only yell and scream more nonsense at me.
But I’m not afraid to take on their criticism either. So I’m printing it here, and by the way, this is only a sample of some of the utter and complete nonsense that I’ve read about me:
“Recovering Wayward says all the right things until you call him out on WHY he cheated. He just can’t take responsibility for the affair, at least not TOTAL responsibility. He insists there is always some blame to lay at the feet of the betrayed. She was too demanding or too neglectful or too fat or too skinny or didn’t want sex enough or was a lousy cook…whatever! We know this to be true: No matter the issues, infidelity is never the answer. Recovering Wayward leaves just enough room to give himself a bit of a pass. That dog don’t hunt in my neighborhood.”
Actually I never said my wife was too fat, too skinny or a lousy cook. To be honest, she’s very fit and is a great cook. But I think the point that this person is missing here is that yes there almost always IS a reason that cheaters cheat. Few people cheat in a vacuum. Few people who are happily married cheat. And that was the case with me.
And my wife agrees and took responsibility for 50% of our lousy marriage, as I have. I have never given myself a “pass” and I challenge the person that wrote this to show me in the blog where I have ever said anything but this: I “own” what I did. 100%. I never blamed my wife for my choices. For my cheating. The reason I cheated was that I felt unloved, unwanted, undesired and misunderstood. That I was no better than the 2nd priority in her life. We were lost. Disconnected. I was therefore vulnerable to someone who swooped and met every unmet critical emotional need that I had. But it wasn’t just my marriage: It was me. My own internal issues as well that go back to my childhood.
THAT BEING SAID, I have taken 100% responsibility for reacting to this neglect the way I did. I should not have cheated!! That was 100% WRONG. I should’ve spoken up to her directly. YEARS before and yelled, “WHATS GOING ON HERE IS NOT OK!”. Or left altogether. ANYTHING but cheated. CAN I BE MORE CLEAR ON THIS?? MY CHOICES WERE 1,000,000% WRONG!!
Do some of you get that yet? Don’t mistake “reason” for “excuse.” There is no excuse for cheating. Its on my “About Me” page:
Nothing I’ve written is a excuse for myself or my horrid behavior.
I assure you that I have been consistently and diligently self-critical throughout my journey. The reality is that by the time my affair started in late 2009, I had long ago given up on my marriage, which had become not much more than a unemotional business partnership — to run a household and raise children. Our passion, our emotions, our need for each other had largely disappeared. Our connection was almost nonexistent. The emotional chasm between us began to open when our first child was born and kept growing, slowly but surely, over more than a decade. I was trapped by myriad responsibilities in a very unsatisfying existence and a disappointing marriage. I felt unloved, misunderstood, unwanted and undesired, although my wife is a very good woman. I felt like not much more than “finance and labor” in my own home.
I misunderstood her as well and did not send these affirmations back to her. I didn’t realize until recently how unhappy she was either. We didn’t fight, but there was no much going for us in our semi-happy marriage. Looking back, our marriage was ripe for an explosion — an affair, a divorce, or both, or perhaps just a slow, inevitable death down the road. We were both to blame for that.
But it wasn’t just her. It was also me. Deficits within myself. My affair was not just the expression of a man trapped in an unsatisfying reality, but also a reaction to the many hurts and injuries done to me by my parents and others in my childhood. I was compensating for these things at some level, although this is definitely 20/20 hindsight. I didn’t realize it back then, and I’m still trying to work it all out on my head.
So for those out there who refuse to really delve very far into my blog so as to best understand my message of understanding, forgiveness, reconciliation and hope, please try and understand this blog entry is NOT an endorsement of cheating by any means. Nor am I validating a set of “excuses” of why people cheat. If you have read any of my blog, you would know that I think cheating is 100% wrong and there is no excuse for it .
Could I be more clear? Do I sound like a coward trying to dodge responsibility for my affair? So let’s try and get together on this shall we?
“He only allows people to comment that never challenge him. Like I said…Coward. Who wants to read one sided rhetoric? Not me. That’s for sure.”
That’s simply not true. I allow disagreement. You can see it in the comments. What I won’t allow is nastiness. Uncivil discourse. Libelous things said about me, my blog or people like me. This I won’t allow. If one can express themselves without anger, vitriol and lies, I’m up for it. If you can’t control yourself, then please DON’T read my blog. I’m not holding a gun to your head.
What I won’t do is get into extended debates on my blog either. People that use the electronic equivalent of a bull-horn to shout down any opinion they don’t like. To try and overwhelm and drown out other voices with keystrokes. I’m not going into long debates on subjects. It will tend to divert and distract from the purpose of my blog entries, which ALWAYS is to help people. I write things because I do the research and because to me they sound right. I won’t be persuaded otherwise. I’ve thought about these too long. if you disagree THAT strongly, the best thing to do is write your own blog. Not try and shout me down in my blog.
And to the point that I’m one-sided. This is laughable. First off, God knows there are enough infidelity message boards (like the one I got this quote from) which are COMPLETELY one-sided. That’s what’s so funny. My POV if I expressed it at the forum where I found this thread about me would be ruthlessly censored in a New York minute. It’s why I had to start this blog. Because mean, foul-mouthed betrayeds dominated the message boards and would not let other Points of View to be heard. Ironic that I’m being accused of the very thing practiced by betrayeds at this message board.
So yes, I invite her and people like her to NOT read my blog. Or start their own. But I won’t give is space on MY blog for lies and nastiness. But I balance out people like her with the DOZENS of emails I get every week, mostly from betrayed spouses, thanking me for my blog. I invite her and you to read the “Blog Feedback” page linked at the top.
“All I can tell you is he just LOVED to bash betrayed wives for lashing out at OWs. He called them bitter for wanting answers and not just “getting over it” or he whined about why don’t betrayed wives accept THEIR part in the affair. “
I’m not trying to bash any particular class of people. Just those that I think are doing the wrong thing.
In fact, I probably counsel more Betrayeds than Cheaters in my email.
And in fact, I have counseled MANY of these betrayeds to dump their cheating spouse for one reason or another. I’m as hard on cheaters as anyone else when required. It’s just not apparent because you don’t see that 90% of my interactions on the topic occur off-line. People like me don’t like to post on public blogs. They usually get shouted down. Betrayeds too. They are embarrassed about their situation and don’t want a public free-for-all. So they write instead. I call them as I see them. Whether to side with a Betrayed, or the Cheater, or neither. I’m not trying to “bash” anyone. I’m trying to HELP anyone who has an open mind and SEEKS my help (I don’t go chasing people down. I largely stopped commenting on Betrayeds’ blogs for that reason).
Whom do I bash? Anyone who is doing the wrong thing. Such as Betrayeds that talk about “saving” their marriages, but all they write is how they are torturing and pummeling their former cheaters. And yes, I think an over-focus on the OW/OM is a diversion from the truth and unhelpful. It’s silly. Some of it is beyond just wrong, but so beyond the pale that it makes you question their motives.
As if the OW/OM made your spouse have an affair. As if they held a gun to their head. They didn’t. Your spouse CHOSE to have an affair, unless they are complete moron. And if they are, then you have other issues. Focusing on the OW/OM, while hardly an innocent bystander, is a clever way to dodge the truth about your marriage before the affair. And a huge waste of time. You should be focusing on WHY your spouse had an affair, not the person they had it with!
That’s what I mean about “shared responsibility” – not that the betrayed is responsible for the affair, but that there is almost ALWAYS a shared responsibility in terms of creating a marital environment where one or both choose to have an affair. That is it an attractive option. Please appreciate that point. To say otherwise is a misrepresentation of this blog and of me.
The smart betrayed spouse understands what I’m talking about. They are the ones whose marriages will not only survive infidelity, but thrive after it. Those who deny any responsibility for their lousy marriages, and, instead, try and pursue justice or the OW/OM will end up divorced anyway in almost every case. It’s just the way it is. The sooner you can put down your hurt feelings and defensiveness, the better off you’ll be. You can’t pummel your wayward spouse into a better marriage. You just can’t. Only the weak and those with no other options will stay. While I realize being the eternal victim has its power and allures, it’s not a way to save your marriage. And THAT is why I’m talking about in my blog: Forgiveness, understanding, reconciliation and love. Not justice and tit-for-tat.
“There is always a chance Mr. Asshat has seen the errors in his thinking. But, because he won’t allow anyone to comment on his blog that challenges him in anyway, we’ll never know”
Mr. Asshat ? LOL. I guess that pretty much tells the reader who you are, doesn’t it? You don’t know me, nor did I cheat on you. If this is how you talked to your spouse, is it any wonder they cheated or that reconciliation isn’t going well? Seriously.
But again, I point you to above. I entertain comments. Even those that disagree with my message. But not nasty ones. I can handle disagreements. Just not mean-spirited jerks who are there only to intimidate people like me and to stifle healthy discussion concerning my message of understanding, love and reconciliation in the aftermath of one of the most formidable challenges anyone can face in a marriage.
I realize it’s easier to slander me and my blog because you don’t like my message. Because you are simply bitter. Because you don’t wish to really look in the mirror. Because you think that a continuous offensive against your offending spouse you believe is the way to go. Really?
Then start your own blog. Lots do. But if you can’t be civil, you can’t be on mine. And yeah that goes for nasty cheaters too. I delete their comments as well.
But know this: No amount of ink. No amount of vitriol against me and my blog. No amount of slander will deter me from my purpose.
If my blog upsets you that much, simply don’t read it. I assure you, I’m not reading yours!
Who is the coward? Who is the one dodging responsibility for their words? I assure you, madame, if I deleted and refuse to accept your input here, I had very good reason. And that reason is apparent even in the snippets of your writing that I have copied/pasted here. Mean people suck. And you’re one of them. But you’re worse than mean. You’re dishonest. Good luck to you and your recovery.