Answering My Critics and Nonsense About My Infidelity Blog

criticEvery 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.

18 thoughts on “Answering My Critics and Nonsense About My Infidelity Blog

  1. RW: I found your blog When I was at the ultimate low. I was so desperate to find answers to the how, the why, the what…

    I was the OW… Heart broken, shattered really and everywhere I turned I only found condemnation and hate. The reality was that I didn’t go looking to have an affair with a married man. No reasonable woman would. Fact was I fell in love with a man and dated him for a full year before I found out he was married. That year was so intense and incredibly intimate on every level … My married guy poured all he had into our relationship… Once he realized he was truly in love with me he couldn’t continue the charade… Where I erred was continuing for SEVEN years an extramarital affair … That was addicting and wrong… Your blog clarified for me his mind set … And mine for that matter. I wasn’t just the other woman I had become his best friend, his confidant and knew full well what I was involved in.

    Your blog gave me the strength to finally end the Circus and get off the emotional roller-coaster I had been riding for so long. Having a place to vent and ask questions and read other peoples experiences was enlightening and strenghtgenkng . I will always be indebted to you and appreciate you. To those who don’t like it well…don’t read it.

    Sorry this all seems rambling I’m on my phone waiting for a flight .

    God bless you I’ve been affair free now for 9 months and my life is better and the pain is ebbing .

    God bless you and all those that are recovering

    • Not rambling a bit. It’s raw, it’s real and its honest. I’m glad my blog helps anyone. its why I’ve kept it going long after my affair is the rear view mirror for me and my wife.

  2. I don’t understand the BS who feel there is only one answer to every affair situation and that answer is that they had no responsibility. I try not to get caught up in it, but sometimes it baffles me (to your point) that they visit a blog, don’t read or pay attention to what the person has actually written, leave long comments, often insulting and rarely in response to the actual post, and refuse to do any internal soul searching.

    I’m with you in that I take equal responsibility with the WS I had an EA with that we were the two that got involved, we share both the blame and the responsibility to end it in a way that causes the least damage as possible to his wife and family.

    But I could also tell his wife a lot (if she knew that I existed) about some of the things she did that literally pushed him further and further into my arms. I don’t mean in a critical way, I could totally see how those actions made sense to her at the time. But that doesn’t make my observations any less true

    You would think that in the anonymous space of the blogosphere a BS might take the opportunity to interact with WS and OW/OM to understand how these situations arise. But it seems like for many it just becomes an opportunity to release their rage on an OW or WS that isn’t involved in their life.

    • I tend agree with you and thanks for the feedback.

      I’ve never understood why some stranger would focus on ME and my blog instead of working on themselves and their relationship. As if I had something to do with their partner cheating.

      What’s even funnier is the really mean ones, I turn their comments straight into the spam bin. I don’t even seen their comments after the first time I block them. Yet, sometimes I peek into the spam folder to see what kind of spam I’m getting (and I get a lot that are clearly thinly-disguised ads for “spell-casters” and fortune tellers), and one of them in particular is STILL writing comments. Does this nit-wit not realize that her comments will never appear here? Never be read?? It’s almost pathological in this one’s case. Like a mental illness. Sort of like my ex-OW, ironically.

  3. I have been following you for some time. Your advice is spot on. I work for an attorney and whenever a new client calls because they want a divorce due to infidelity, I recommend they visit your blog before taking further action. If they are the WS they need somebody else to convey the power of the “fog” and if they are the BS they could use some clarity as well. Your blog provides that. Before anyone goes down the road of divorce, we want them to see an unbiased opinion about infidelity, which your blog provides. More than anything we want reconciliation and your blog provides a path. You could abandon this blog at anytime as you and your wife seem to have healed from infidelity. I commend you for continuing. Thank you.

    • Wow. That’s an amazing thing to read!! I showed my wife your note. She was impressed. Hey, I’m not a therapist. I’m just a guy who went through this and who hopes to help others avoid affairs or recover from them. Thanks for the input and kind words. It’s because of things like this that I’ve kept this going.

  4. Dday for me : Dec 25, 2012.. I ask my husband why he had an affair and still today his answer ALWAYS starts with “because you…..” and I cut him off.. He says “see I try to answer but you dont listen..” I respond, because Im not the reason you decided to have an affair YOU DECIDED THAT and that was a CHOICE you made.. He says I wont take responsibility for my part in his affair!?! Uh no I tell him I will take 50% blame for a failing marriage but I will never accept blame for YOUR DECISION to fuck someone else, leave me and ur kids to be with her and her kid… etc etc… sooo ur opinion? if u prefer to email me instead its
    let me know if you email tho here cause I dont check that email at all. Theres a lot more but Im not real sure what Im asking you or why.. if that makes sense. Am I wrong to think he should start with “because I….” and not “because you…”

    • I think largely you are correct and are saying the same thing as I am: It’s not your fault in anyway for the decision he made to have an affair. Even if you were abusive or neglectful, he made a poor choice. You are responsible however for your part in a poor marriage, as you said. I think you have it down correctly. yes, sometimes cheaters get this wrong too — they want to blame their spouse for their poor choices. They are as wrong as the betrayed spouse who refuses to acknowledge their role in a relationship so poor that their partner decided to have an affair. It goes both ways, yes. Yes, your husband needs to “own” his poor decision in response to his unhappy marital existence. 100%

  5. Hi- once again I agree with you whole heartdly. It i extremely important that anyone involved in the circus of infidelity look at the bigger picture (which many betrayeds do not) if saving your marriage is what you want. I believe that many affairs happen because emotional needs fail to be met within our relationships. Fot many years that was me never getting back the love and respect i needed (and gave) in my marriage. Most in my case probably would’ve had an affair , however i have witnessed first hand the devastation affairs cause and Never did. What i did do was shut down within marriage and stopped giving the love and support i felt deprived of to my spouse.I certainly was naive to think that just because i didnt have affair that he wouldnt. Because he did. And this just about destroyed me at first. What happened for me (us) is that we both realized that we did love one another and despite all the hatred and evil thinga we both did in past if i wanted to save my marriage i had to change my way of who i was in my relationship – be true to who i am on the inside and treat my spouse with the love and respect each partner deserves in all marriages. Did i have control to change who he is and behaves? No all i could do was work on what i was giving to this relationship and hope that he would also want this too. Being married to a narcissist for 19 years I didnt hold out much hope for this after all i have learned about narcissists and affairs, but i had to give it a shot. Well im gonna tell you dont always believe everything you read, i mean do read, learn and grow fromthis nightmare but take what you learn and apply it to your unique situation. I am happy to say that while im sure we still have a long way to go, iam still married, living together, and happier than i’ve been in many many years. I believe he is too. Deciding to not focus on the affair and look forward and begin being the spouse i would want to be married to has changed what was very doomed. And when i did this he started to treat me better and i see the effort we both are doing to improve our lives. I by no means know if we have made it over the hill yet but i know that for the first tine in a very long time we are on the same page again and care about fulfilling those emotional needs that we never managed to before. So I say deal with the affair then leave it behind and do the real work for your marriage. And if for some reason your spouse cannot give you what you need you’ll be in a better place to move on. While I don’t agree with everything WS says on this blog (some happily married people do have affairs) I have to give him credit for helping me see what my role was in the breakdown of marriage and that I had no role in HIS choice to have affair. This is an excellent blog to hear both sides of situation. Keep up the good work! Chely

    • Thanks for the feedback.

      On your last point, however, actually I have a whole blog entry about how SOME happily married people have affairs (it’s just fairly rare). I wrote it 2-3 weeks ago. I’ve ALWAYS said that happy and content people “rarely” have affairs. I’ve never said “never.” With human nature and human relationships, there are few absolutes. Just sayin’. 🙂

      • Yes my bad! I just re-read it and now remember -computer has a problem right now so I’m typing this on phone and it takes such along time -I hadn’t commented -yet. But since not fixed yet -i had to add my two cents. Thanks for your response, anyone who doesn’t write a blog of their own has no clue how dedicated to ones writing an author must be to be successful.:-)

  6. To be able to forge a path of forgiveness and reconciliation, one must have strength, character and the ability to look inside oneself. I see few of these qualities in the writings of your detractors, so it’s no surprise that they are either unwilling or unable to pursue this.

    I can certainly understand why some would not choose a path or reconciliation for various reasons, including having spouses that are sociopathic or serial offenders. Or perhaps because the relationship never had a firm foundation from the start. For others, a relationship may be worth saving – but the participants are either too clumsy, ignorant or arrogant to achieve this.

    I wouldn’t classify my wife’s affair as a blessing at all, though it was certainly a catalyst for us both to step back and look at our relationship, and ourselves, and work to make positive changes. Our almost 4 month journey has been tough going, especially at the beginning, but I can honestly say that our relationship is becoming more loving, open and honest than it’s been in many years.

    I believe that from crisis can come great recovery, for those who wish to pursue it – if armed with the proper tools. I would just add that there is significant agreement between our counseling (and this counselor is very well respected) and the opinions expressed in your blog.

    • Well said and thank you for the input.

      And not all counselors see it the same way. I’ve had emails from 3 counselors telling me they’ve used my blog with their patients or pointed them to it. “talk therapy” and affair recovery are not exactly a hard science. There are different points of view. I’m sure there are those that disagree with me. Ok. *shrugs*. I don’t require anyone to agree with me or to even read the blog. I only ask this: If you are going to try and post on my blog (or about my blog and me), please be civil and accurate. And not too long winded. Don’t try and overwhelm me and everyone else by engaging in a long debate on a topic here. That’s all I ask. If you don’t like my POV, write your own blog. If you don’t like the blog or me, I can live with that. Just judge it and me silently.

      I put things out there because I think they are correct and helpful. But I don’t dismiss what everyone else says outright. It’s just my take on things.

      again thanks for the input.

      • On more than a couple occasions, our counselor said something that was almost verbatim from your blog. My wife and I, having read many of your posts, just turned to each other and smiled…. Keep up the good work.

      • Well, I never said it all came out of my head! or even most of it! When I think about a blog topic, I put down some notes. I do some research. I may add from other sources here and there to my own thoughts. Play with it. Roll it around. Eventually I publish it. But I never said this was all original work or thoughts. I like to think of most of it as a more of a synthesis of what I consider to be sound sources.

  7. Hi there. I am a BS.. Firstly I can’t thank you enough for this blog. All the others are not so practical, and this is so balanced. Found out 4 wks ago from the OW about her 3 year affair with my husband of 15 years. She didn’t mean to cause me pain I think, just wanted answers. My husband had told her 9 months ago that we split, were getting a divorce, he even rented a flat on the sly. I have met the OW and she is nice-equally devastated by his lies -she thought he was the love of her life and they were going to grow old together and didn’t realise he was still with me. My husband did love her- He says I am his true love and he wants to stay married. The biggest hurt for me was around the time of him telling her we’d split up, we were starting ivf after years of discussion, in fact my DDay was 3 days before egg collection. And at that point she was seeing an old boyfriend – so he could have left her cleanly and started afresh with me… But he obviously wanted to win her back. This seems cruel, to lie so significantly about starting a fresh life with 2 women who obviously loved him.
    That said I still have feelings for him, and we have started communicating and going to therapy. I know I have a part to play in why he did it. I work long hours, am career orientated, and we’d moved house to another town etc…
    – I guess the advice I would like back is… What he did was so awful, it seems like one of the worst examples of double life betrayal I have heard of. Is thee any hope or am I being stupid to even try??

    • I think that my story, if nothing else, proves that there is always a chance for reconciliation. But not just that, actually improving the marriage than what it was before. Frankly, it all depends on the attitudes and actions of both of you. In my very top blog entry, I list the 5 things he must do to have a chance. And in my two blogs on the mistakes that both former cheaters and betrayed spouses make that tend to scuttle reconciliation. No guarantees of course, but I think in combination, these tend to give couples the best chance of coming out of this better than they were as a couple prior to the affair. Some do, some split up anyways. As I said, it largely depends on your attitude and his, and your actions and his from here on out. I wish you good luck.

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