Rick Reynolds, LCSW
by Rick Reynolds, LCSW
Founder & President, Affair Recovery

How Could You? Part IV - Doublespeak and Distorted Comparisons

How Could You? A Six Part Series on Why We Commit Betrayal with Infidelity

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One Friday morning, while driving to work, Stephanie called and asked if I'd talked to our son, Bryson.

"No," I replied.
"I can't get a hold of him," she told me.
Knowing something must be up I asked, "What's the problem?"
"There's been an explosion in Waco," she said worriedly.

Stephanie and I don't watch much news, we were totally unaware of the terrible explosion the previous evening. Our youngest son was a student at Baylor during the time of this catastrophe, and he hadn't thought it necessary to let us know of his whereabouts after the explosion.

After I found the press release and learned it happened about 10 miles north of Waco, my worries subsided, but with this week's topic in mind, I began wondering how the press release from the West Fertilizer Co. might read. Would they say there had been a catastrophic explosion at their plant and they were grieved over the loss of life as well as the injuries others had suffered? Would they say, "We don't yet know the cause of the blast, but we take full responsibility"? Or would they say, "Today our fertilizer plant experienced a ‘spontaneous energetic disassembly' resulting in collateral damage as we were providing for the needs of our community"?

Euphemistic Labeling

Euphemistic labeling, otherwise known as doublespeak, is an age-old technique for avoiding responsibility.
Euphemistic language is used widely to make harmful conduct respectable and to reduce personal responsibility for it (Lutz, 1987).

Suspending one's morals requires using the language of non-responsibility (Gambino 1973) to redefine the behavior into something that doesn't seem or look so bad. This sanitizing language also allows infidelity to lose much of its repugnancy and ascribed shame. See if you've heard some of these examples before:

  • Unfaithful spouses have "encounters" rather than having affairs.
  • They "hooked-up" with someone, making it sound as if they met up with an old friend rather than saying they had anonymous sex.
  • "It was just sex, it didn't mean anything."
  • It was just ‘sexting.' Such a phrase sounds far more palatable than "we were exchanging naked photos of ourselves over our cell phones".
  • Saying "I strayed" rather than saying "I cheated on you" or "I betrayed your trust".

Advantageous Comparison

Another technique used to minimize hurtful actions is called Advantageous Comparison.

By juxtaposing our behaviors against something or someone worse, we can exploit the comparison principle and make our actions seem almost righteous.

Using exonerating comparison to make infidelity seem acceptable is based on two judgements:

  1. Working on the marriage to achieve the desired change would have been useless, and
  2. My infidelity will prevent more suffering than it caused.

Terrorists see their behavior as acts of selfless martyrdom by comparing them with widespread cruelties inflicted on the people with whom they identify (Bandura, 1990). The more outrageous the contrast, the more likely the unfaithful spouse's actions will seem almost benevolent. For example, the damage caused by an affair is minimized by claiming it was nothing compared to the pain caused by their mate's controlling behaviors through the years, and it's probably the thing that will save them from divorce. This might sound like: "We were just friends; that's far better than me going out and sleeping with prostitutes." "Why can't you see that it wasn't a big deal?"



If you've been impacted by infidelity or addiction, I hope you'll take advantage of our many resources for both spouses. We absolutely know how to see transformation in the most difficult of circumstances, addictions and life changing, traumatic events. More than likely, it's time for something new and expert-driven, where you're not the worst-case situation and you're not beating a dead horse.

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  1. LUTZ, W.D. (1987) Language, appearance, and reality doublespeak in 1984, in: P.C. BOARDMAN (Ed.) The Legacy of Language - a tribute to Charlton Laird, pp. 103–119 (Reno, NV, University of Nevada Press).
  2. GAMBINO, R. (1973) Watergate lingo: a language of non-responsibility, Freedom at Issue, 22, pp. 7–9,15–17.
  3. BANDURA, A. (2002) Disengagement in the Exercise of Moral Agency. Journal of Moral Education, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2002. Selective Moral Stanford University USA
  4. BANDURA, A. (1991) Social cognitive theory of moral thought and action, in: W. M. KURTINES & J. L. GEWIRTZ (Eds) Handbook of Moral Behavior and Development: theory, research and applications, Vol. 1, pp. 71–129 (Hillsdale, NJ, Erlbaum, 1990).

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The text to her AP said "I love you. Really, I do"

She said to me

- I love him, but not the way that I love you. 

- I love him as a friend.  It's not like that.

- Our love is different, sacred and special.

I cried, but I believed her.

Until I found the naked photos.

I got several of those from

I got several of those from my wife ..it was attention ...i lost my way...or of course my favorite it was a mistake....ooh i forgot ..i always wanted it to be you....the affair lasted 2/12yrs ....i think she knew it wasnt me.....9months from d-day and i just heard i loved him but not like in love with him....2young daughters trying to figure out what to do .....

One that I've heard recently

One that I've heard recently is "Well, we've both made mistakes." Mistake?? Ugh!

Yep just heard that one again

Yep just heard that one again this week!

My husband to date minimizes

After his infidelity(if indeed its over), was discovered he kept referring to it as just this one "mistake". I pointed out that it was more than that. It was a deliberate way of life that carried on for close to a year that might never have ended till more serious consequences came out of it. It was a daily state of mind that went on for close to 709 days. When my guts told me that something was up, I asked him to end anything he was into and keep me from finding out. He went on. I had to catch him for him to admit it and supposedly end it. He vowed to stop his affair till I caught him in pornography. His excuse? It's educational! After adultery, a show of remorse, he picks up his porn to watch more sex. Late in the night he would wave me off to bed encouraging to say my prayers after which he tucks into adult websites. His porn habit and his need to keep late nights 7/7, his overly critical attitude to anything I asked, his impatience with me and emotional neglect of me. All just for a mistake? Even after 10 months, I wonder if my mind will ever be the same again. In the same breathe he is thanking me for making life worth living during the toughest time of his life, economically and emotionally, by my support and love. Then he promptly goes into an affair to reward me for my faithfulness. And it's just a mistake? Rick you are spot on. To be that callous, even the betrayer will dodge by any means of being capable of such deceit and treachery.

Favorite minimizers!

My unfaithful hubby would say; " it's nothing", " it's a mistake", " the porn is just educating", " it was just sex', " the sex had stopped so she remained my friend. We just talked" , "my friend", " I always loved you", Etc.

Does this count as Doublespeak?

Per my wayward H:

 

I cheated on you and all of this things I did with the other women is because I was already "out of the marraige"

When only he knew he was out, not me.  Did not have a plan to really end the marriage.  So when discussing his infidlities, what I get is well I was "out of the marriage" at that time. 

 

I am not buying it.

 

  

I understand that g

G- I can empathize with you in a way as when his, (now I know it was his 2nd), emotional affair began while I was on bedrest for 6 months carrying our 4th child, and would tell him almost daily as I cried, "thank you for being strong and taking care of so much so I can keep this baby and I safe". He always told me to relax and not worry, we would get through this time. Little did I know, my supposed "friend" 3 doors down from my house became interested in him and by the time the baby came in fall 2011, I couldn't listen to him lie anymore and found proof of the emotional affair. I thought it was over until 1/19/13 I discovered that they had picked the affair back up in Jan 2012, and it became much deeper, and physical.....(but oh....lucky lucky me....they never had intercourse.....couldnt find the time....gee....guess i should be grateful?!) A friend followed them and made her cut it off in Oct. 2012. I've heard what I feel is "justification" and "minimization".....now know I've also heard doublespeak as well! -He needed someone to talk to - She made him feel special and appreciated -He has a porn addiction, so the affair was really an escalation of his disease, and no one can get mad at someone when they have a disease.....right? (Like the Lupus and RA I have that is hard on HIM too because he has to carry a bit more of the load at times).................guess he heard "in sickness and HEALTH", for BETTER or worse", basically the buzz words that meant the "good times". My thoughts and prayers to the men and women reading and commenting here, who.....probably like me, haven't been perfect spouses, yet never turned their backs on the marriage, lied, deceived and betrayed their spouses, to selfishly serve only themselves!

verbatim

That is word for word what my whole told me. There were several affairs over the entire five years of our marriage and each time he stated "I thought it was over". It would have been nice if he told me. Each time was during an opportunity to work on the marriage. He would even by books and take some "space" to learn to be a better communicator. I was left thinking he was working on our marriage while he was "out of the marriage".

EXCUSES AND RATIONALIZATIONS

My spouse excuses the two year long affair by telling me and others how "mean" I had been to him.

Double-speak

When my husband told me about the other woman, he said he was "talking" to someone.  I took that as he was sharing intimate details of his life and had an emotional connection but that was as far as it had gone.  I found out several days later that they had been having a physical affair.  I had to drag it out of him.  It took me even longer to find out that it had been going on for 4 months. 

You have no understanding of

You have no understanding of how hard it was for me then. I wasn't myself. The stress changed me.

You have no understanding of...

I heard similar...but first I heard ...I was trying to get her to have a 3 some..we are just friends....after finding out he was extensively talking to her for 6 months..texting 100s of times a day from the minute he left until he would start an argument over a word or look..to go to bed to only text her for 2 more hours...then when that didn't fly...he was stressed out and I wasn't around.. I was at work...and she listened...when at this time he is not communicating just yelling at me , like I should have been a mind reader...

Interestingly, I find that it

Interestingly, I find that it is I, the betrayed spouse, who uses this sort of double-speak to protect myself from the reality of what happened. "She stalked him"--only partially true. "It was a drunken dalliance." "He stepped out of our marriage." Or "that summer he got a bit lost." My husband, on the other hand, has difficulty even finding words for what he did as it is so painful for both of us. Bringing truthful words to this betrayal of not only me but his own ideals has been an ongoing struggle. Our therapist has been an extraordinary support.

doublespeak

After Almost 2 Years post D Day Still More New Details Emerged. (Sorry About The Typing My Phone Is Going Crazy). When Confronted Again Where All My Husband And His Affair Partner Had Had Sex, He Casually Admitted To "Messing Around" At Her House. I Told Him Messing Around Is Not An Accurate Description Of Anything And Certainly Not Respectful To Me. So Then He Said They Had Sex At Her House. So Frustrating And Heartbreaking All Over Again!!!

Sanitized language.

My wife used, "sex outside of marriage."

Euphemisms and minimizing and diverting the subject

Unfortunately I am too familiar with all of those tactics... They are also listed as common behaviors in verbally and emotionally abusive relationships. It wasnt until I read books by Lundy Bancroft and Patricia Evans that I understood what was going on, or why my marriage had become so painful and chaotic. I heard "It was nothing" or "she's just a friend" for years... I knew I didn't or could t believe it but I had no proof (or the money to hire a PI... I wanted so much to trust him... But nothing was right - I was made out to be the horrible wife for not trusting him... It took me years to break free from the depression and the trauma of his verbal accusations. He grew up in a household that deflected every painful truth and allowed abusive language. "We'll at least he's not a drug dealer" allowed a dad to gamble his paycheck... "I could die tomorrow" was the excuse disguised to resemble an otherwise worthy carpe diem philosophy gone haywire...rationalizing careless and irresponsible activities. He also likes using self denigration as a tactic... "I guess I just don't know any better" is a lame excuse for his irresponsibilities when he easily identifies the same actions in Others as poor choices. He used to verbally skewer public figures who had exemplified immoral behavior all the years he practiced the same behaviors - "but it's different - these people have an obligation to the public to act morally" Recently he said a business sale had been paid with a "cash gift from a friend" so be wouldn t have to claim the income... My list could go on and on... And the manipulations of the truth continue... What can Be done to help someone understand the need for honesty? What creates a person who you know knows the truth but chooses to manipulate it? Out of one side of his mouth he speaks a sincere desire to become a better person... From the other side of his lips he continues to redefine the truth for his purposes - usually just with me...no one else has to bring these things up with him...

Double speak, minimizing, deflecting

Unfortunately I am too familiar with all of those tactics... They are also listed as common behaviors in verbally and emotionally abusive relationships. It wasnt until I read books by Lundy Bancroft and Patricia Evans that I understood what was going on, or why my marriage had become so painful and chaotic. I heard "It was nothing" or "she's just a friend" for years... I knew I didn't or could t believe it but I had no proof (or the money to hire a PI... I wanted so much to trust him... But nothing was right - I was made out to be the horrible wife for not trusting him... It took me years to break free from the depression and the trauma of his verbal accusations. He grew up in a household that deflected every painful truth and allowed abusive language. "We'll at least he's not a drug dealer" allowed a dad to gamble his paycheck... "I could die tomorrow" was the excuse disguised to resemble an otherwise worthy carpe diem philosophy gone haywire...rationalizing careless and irresponsible activities. He also likes using self denigration as a tactic... "I guess I just don't know any better" is a lame excuse for his irresponsibilities when he easily identifies the same actions in Others as poor choices. He used to verbally skewer public figures who had exemplified immoral behavior all the years he practiced the same behaviors - "but it's different - these people have an obligation to the public to act morally" Recently he said a business sale had been paid with a "cash gift from a friend" so be wouldn t have to claim the income... My list could go on and on... And the manipulations of the truth continue... What can Be done to help someone understand the need for honesty? What creates a person who you know knows the truth but chooses to manipulate it? Out of one side of his mouth he speaks a sincere desire to become a better person... From the other side of his lips he continues to redefine the truth for his purposes - usually just with me...no one else has to bring these things up with him...

Deflecting

When asked if he EVER had sex...I was told..where or when would we have time...not a denial or no..total deflection

Minimizing

My Husband actually said "in all those years we probably only had sex 25 or 30 times." Like 30 times was a small number and should not be THAT big of a deal.

Doublespeak

My husband started off writing dirty emails to a co-worker that eventually turned into a physical affair. His words...It was just a game...I got sucked into it... I didn't mean for it to happen...She started it... All these words show a lack of responsibility. It goes along with his lack of remorse.

Ditto

You and I share the exact same story. and along with it a complete lack of responsibility, mine took it a step further. Whenever we would talk about it or I would tell him my hurt, he would try to make me feel bad for him by saying "this is so hard on me." and would dry heave and pretend to throw up from the emotional stress. One time when I was telling him how hurt I was, he went as far to say he should just kill himself. I wish just once I would be able tell him how I feel, but to this day I have not been able to finish because I am always interrupted by his dramatic and grandiose breakdowns.

"I felt sorry for him""I was

"I felt sorry for him"

"I was ambushed into it"

Double speak

My husband always talked about his 'friends'. These were women who gave him photos that he either carried about with him on had on his phone. These were women who 'gave' him tickets to a play - which he tried to go to until I stopped him. These were women who would give him presents such as Xmas cakes that he expected me to bring him slices of!! I am currently still with him though thinking about a divorce. He stopped the one sexual affair I know about in 2011 after I asked for a trial seperation and he stormed off for two days. I think the others were emotional affairs. He has always been very close to other women - even when it makes me uncomfortable. He appears to be changing - we do things together, he doesn't see his 'friends' anymore. He is, I think, very worried that I will leave him. I have told him that if he has another affair I will leave him. I am not financially dependent on him - in fact he contributes very little. I will decide what happens next - possibly a divorce. I find your articles so helpful and a good way of reflecting. Thank you.

My having an affair is not as

My having an affair is not as bad as the fact that you had a child out of wedlock. (Before we knew each other.)

Thank you

Hi, Unlike most commenters I have noticed, I was the unfaithful spouse. I chose to end my marriage. I have never been unfaithful before, and I am still trying to understand how I could've done it. How I could've caused so much damage. What I didn't expect was the damage that I did to myself. To my head. I read every one of your newsletters, in the hope of understanding me, and relationships, and to do everything I can to stop this behavior in the future. The latest topic has been very helpful, it has been hard to find information and support. So, thank you very much for covering this topic, it's been valuable.

Affair Recovery: Doublespeak and Distorted Comparisons: How

Awesome article.

Props

Hi, I know this is old, but credit to you for trying to better yourself and taking actions to do so. That is the only path to go down that will change future behavior! It is nice to read someone taking personal responsibility for their actions.

Escape

My wife uses the term "escape" to describe what she was doing.  She was in a bad place after we lost our son in a car accident (she was driving).  The affair was her escape to feel better and be someone else for a while.

I realized how separated he

I realized how separated he was from what he had done when instead of stating the names of any of the woman he had sex with, he would just label them as AP #1 or AP #6 any time he was referencing what he would call "an encounter."Even the fact that he used the term affair partner was upsetting because it made it seem that there was a relationship or feelings toward a woman he answered an ad about and met one time just to have sex.

Double Speak

stepping out

help me be 'true' to my wife

the stars just lined up, and it happened

I love her but am not in love with her

The significance of true words for the betrayed

The very word “affair” is a euphemism; it is adultery, emotional abuse, psychological murder. I personally can’t stand the word “affair”, especially when my wife uses it. For many, many months, I was convinced that she did not “get it” because she would use double speak and distorted comparisons. I figured as long as she didn’t call a spade a spade, that she did not verbalize the words "adultery", "selfishness", "disrespect" when referring to what she did, then she was not owning her actions, nor was she letting me off the hook for supposedly causing her to commit the crime. Now I don’t expect her to refer to her “adultery” every time we talk about it; I understand she is a wounded soul and it hurts to admit what she did, what she was. But not until she admitted what she did, in plain, honest language, did she come to the truth of herself and thereby come closer to the truth of what she did to me and what my forgiveness means, not to mention God’s forgiveness. Using the right vocabulary is a path to coming to truth and reconciliation. I was willing to forgive, in fact did forgive, from the very beginning after discovery, but by not using honest language, it led me to see that she had not really owned up to her actions, and that belittled the pain and sacrifice I had gone through to forgive her and stay in the marriage. I did not go into a depression, become ill, loose weight, loose confidence in myself, because she became “friends” with another man. I did not go to hell and back, with many, many tears and bouts of anger yelling at her and at God, because they got “frisky” in his car, because “it was just the flesh”, and nothing deeper like giving her heart (which she later admitted was not true). I went to hell, was thrown into the deepest pit, because my very identity was made of no account and trashed, because all of my love for the previous thirty-years amounted to nothing, because the life of our children was jeopardized. In a very real way I died, and that death deserves more dignity than a sanitized euphemism.

healing the pain..

Your reply makes me ache deeply for your healing. I, too, was hurt by my wife's deceit and betrayal...but while reading your posting...just for a moment, I wished that I could take on all your pain if it could help. Even if it was temporary, to give you relief from the pain you are now feeling.  I know it. I feel it.  I understand it, as do many of us here.

Hang in there my brother.  Just be true to yourself and honest in your actions.  There are many of us going through this and while it never truly heals, it does fade and get better with time.  The pain and anger will lessen, but not without a lot of soul searching and release.

 

Your response almost word for

Your response almost word for word mirrors my experience and feelings over the last 10 months. My wife still to this day refuses to acknowledge what her actions have done, and continue to do to me and our family as well as negating the efforts I have made to forgive and live with it. Her favorite line.... "It meant nothing to me so it shouldn't mean anything to you... Why can't you just get over it? We will never get past this if you can't let it go. You are the one killing our chances to move forward"

I agree

Yes. I agree with you, the very word affair is a euphemism and itself minimizes the destructiveness cheating causes.

As you so eloquently stated, an affair, is emotional abuse at the very least and psychological murder at its extreme.

After learning of my husband's cheating, I felt as if I had been hit in the head with a lead bat.

I seemed to operate as if I was brain damaged. My memory suddenly failed, and instantly could no longer play the Piano. I completely lost the ability. I also could not remember things as well as I used to.

I had myself evaluated for a stroke, but was given a clean bill of health. My psychologist says I have Post infidelity stress syndrome. This is similar to PTSD and effects the hippocampus of the brain. It actually physically shrinks it causing memory loss and hypervigilence.

So yes, using words like an affair, a fling, a dalliance to describe cheating on your spouse is laughable.

Five years out we are still together, but I still can not remember the chords to play the piano, and I still am hypervigilant and anxious all the time when he is gone just a bit longer than he said he would be.

I really used to be a very calm together person. But I am no longer since his cheating.

This is one of the most

This is one of the most accurate descriptions I have read as to what being the betrayed spouse of many years with children involved feels like.
I wish you nothing but the best and am so sorry for your pain.

The significance of true words for the betrayed

I appreciate your comment more than you can ever know. I am living what you went through. The panic attacks and nightmares I continue to have cannot be compartmentalized into being the hurt partner of an affair.
My husband did not have sex with the other woman and because of that one small detail, he has justified his entire relationship with that person. They had carried on their relationship through a series of text messages and phone calls (mostly between midnight and 4AM). We have been in counseling for over 4 months now and he still feels that he did nothing. I keep praying that God will remove the scales from his eyes so he can see what he has truly done to our relationship.
I still feel I died that day I found out about his "friendship". How much longer do I have before he finally owns up to his actions?

How much longer

My husband did not have sex with her, either. The mental gymnastics he has practiced to justify and minimize boggle my mind. I don't want to discourage you and I promise I will end on a positive note, but we have been on the verge of divorce for 15 years because of his emotional infidelity. Last month he came clean with more details. Like that he lied about going no contact. "Did you have contact with her after she quit?" His answer, "I didn't initiate contact."

Regardless, I got more truths than I have ever gotten. I truly thought he was in love with her. He believed she felt the same way and that she had no interest in a physical relationship as he deluded himself into believing he'd never commit adultery. Frankly, he's told me things she said and I have reflected them back to him. Not thrown them back, simply restated them. You can do that 15 years later. Patterns merged. Eventually, he couldn't deny that she was hinting she was willing to take it to a physical level. Calm reflection, adding nothing more than he said but linking with other patterns are helpful if he isn't in full defense mode. But it's hard to do when you hurt so much.

So, 15 years later, does he feel remorse? Maybe some. More for himself than what he put me through and how he hurt our kids and family. Regret? I honestly don't know. Do I trust him? Nope. He betrayed that trust by lying to me time after time after time. He put me through Hell. He caused psychological damage to our children but will never own it. He hasn't owned the pain he caused me or the seriousness of sins. He's come further than he was but I believe he's still in danger of making the same mistakes. But I refuse to be the marriage police unless I feel there is cause. I honestly don't believe he has strayed with anybody but this one girl but they kept it going via email for YEARS. He knows that damaged our marriage and damaged himself.

The secret is, after grieving, finding a good support system, evaluating if he is, at his core, a good man, to forgive. It sounds trite but it is much bigger than that. It took me years then a great deal of humility and burning desire to heal myself. I remember my pain but I don't feel it. I see his logical fallacies and I feel sad for him, not angry. He is capable of being so much more and he is trying to be better but his doggone pride keeps him stuck. I'm finished telling him he's wrong. He just gets defensive and digs in his heels. I know what he did. I know it was emotionally abusive and I've told him so. But I won't argue with him, anymore. I've said it all.

He has his own journey and I have mine. I don't have to carry his cross just because he dropped it at my feet and tried to convince me it was mine. He doesn't do that, anymore so it's no longer emotionally abusive. Remorse and regret? Don't know. Don't care. Trust? No way. Marriage police? No thank you. Forgiveness? The greatest gift to myself.

Give yourself time. It will come.

Thank you for sharing your strength and insights

I found you comments very helpful, grace filled and insightful. I am right very near where you are after 6 years of struggling to regain my own "price of mind" that I lost post D day. I could not have described it any better than you did.
May God Bless and keep you Safe.

You speak truth!

The sanitization of abuse is rampant and prevents forgiveness and reconciliation. She was only a friend (former college lover), it was just flirting (constant messages of love and sexual inuendo), it was her fantasy, and I didn't want to bust her bubble so I went along with it, we didn't have sex (but we drank a bottle of wine, kissed and petted and fell asleep together on a couch until 2 AM), I think you would like her if you met her (are you even being rational?), I just like the feeling of titillation when sexually teasing someone - it was just nothing, I knew you wouldn't like it so I didn't tell you and kept it a secret from you to protect you. Sanitized justifications when spoken cause more death and destruction to the relationship. They are the lies the unfaithful tell themselves to live with themselves amid the moral injustices they have committed. Until they drop this language and own their responsibility for what they did and how it hurt their partner, I don't think there is hope. I too died, and my death deserves more dignity.

RE: The significance of true words for the betrayed

True. I'm a "victim" as well and completely understand your hurt and bitterness. 24 years for me and countless "forgivings" of my husband's affairs...I understand completely and pray that all of us (you, me, and ever other person going through what we are going through) find peace....Keep being the bigger person and pressing on.

I am "wasting my life by

I am "wasting my life by thinking about it" when referring to her actions.

Same line

I have been told that too, along with being berated for wasting his weekend off trying to talk about something he doesn't like to talk about. Wallowing is another favorite term he uses.

With my husband its the

With my husband its the standard, she's not my mistress...she's my significant other.  He even had the nerve to tell the judge that.  Of course, I live in a no fault state and he can divorce me even though I don't want to; no one knows he committed adultery (its irreconcilable differences); and my children and I take a "standard of living adjustment" because I'm not a stay at home mom...I'm a bum and he is my meal ticket.   He told my 15 year old daughter that he just wants "to be happy".  And instead of the fact that he is living in her house now, he tells the kids and the court that its daddy's new house.    He gets to have overnights with my children in her house and he is living with a three time divorcee.  Guess marriage isn't in his dictionary anymore either.  The death do us part is...until I decide I would rather go out by myself.  He's not having a midlife crisis...he's expressing his true self.  He wasn't disinterested and uninvolved in his family, I was controlling and paid too much attention to the 4 yr old.  And we don't have anything in common...only five kids and 25 years of traditions and history!  Yea, I know I would love to hear his explanation to his family.  I would probably need a thesarus for that conversation.  I still believe in forgiveness and I am trying very hard to get there.  Thanks for all the great info and help. 

I'm Sorry

Sorry, Just surfing the web and I read your post. My heart aches for you and your children. I hope one day your ex will realize what he has done and do whatever he needs to do to bring you and your children some sort of healing from the hell he has and is putting you through. I wish you all the best. Stay strong for your babies.

I Know the Feeling

I know how you feel and my heart goes out to you.  Rick clearly struck (another) nerve with this post.  I pray that your ex comes to understand how wrong his behavior is and truly repents of his actions.  I also pray that God grants you some peace and relief from the pain this has caused.

Affair Recovery: Doublespeak and Distorted Comparisons: How

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I heard, "I handled things

I heard, "I handled things poorly." 

Really??  Poorly?? 

Oh, and I loved it when he would ask me, "What's the matter?"  (Matter of factly.  Not compassionately.)

Whatever.

what's the matter?

It always puzzles me when my wife asks that question.  Really...you even have to ask?

The betrayer doesn't seem to understand just how all-consuming this is for the betrayed.

All consuming dispair

Hi,

You said: The betrayer doesn't seem to understand just how all-consuming this is for the betrayed.

Not only are you right on, why is it they just don't care? They used to care for us with their whole heart & soul.

Who body-snatched my husband???

C in Texas

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