Did I Cause My Spouse to Have an Affair? This is a tough one. A short blog makes it impossible to be exhaustive, but I’ll be as specific as space and time allows. Fact is you don’t make anyone have an affair. An unfaithful spouse cheats because of their own inability to face up to their marital situation and perceived dissatisfaction and handle it a better way, the right way. Yes, my marriage had some vulnerabilities. Samantha admitted she rejected me emotionally and sexually pretty frequently. She also admits that she was disapproving and I was treated like a second or third child depending on what year of marriage we were in. I felt like I was treated like royalty everywhere outside of my home, but inside my home I never could do enough or be enough. I was frustrated. I was selfish and self-absorbed. Yep: I had a messiah complex. Eventually I was hopeless. I ended up quitting and simply thinking that a double life is the only way I’m going to be able to be happy in life. It was a lie. It was a lie I told myself to justify my affair and push away the guilt and shame I felt about my double life. You didn’t cause your spouse to have an affair. Therapists who say things like “Well, it’s no wonder he/she cheated” or “I would have cheated too if my marriage was as nonsexual as yours was” or better yet, one I heard just today “If a man isn’t getting what he needs at home, he’s going to go find it somewhere with someone.” It’s lunacy…..and it’s inexperience. Even if you have vulnerabilities in the marriage, it doesn’t justify you or your spouse cheating. There is a large volume of productive things you, your spouse or I could have done instead of going outside our marriage to get our perceived needs met. Please hear me: you, the betrayed, did not make your spouse have an affair. Here’s the rub though: you, the betrayed, may have made it easier to cheat. Certainly, not always but in many cases the marriage may have been fragile. You may have allowed or created vulnerability and in order to fully heal as a marriage, you’ll need to own that reality. It in no way whatsoever justifies your spouse cheating. Nevertheless, recovery is about finding new life for the marriage and spouses involved and no spouse is perfect and no spouse is perfectly attentive to the needs of their spouse. The unfaithful did find their needs met in the affair partner. It was probably a fantasy. It was probably deception. It was probably a huge illusion that this is their new found soul mate, when the betrayed was their original soul mate, years or even decades earlier. I’m not saying the unfaithful is justified at all. I’m also not saying that the betrayed is perfect and without the need to own some things in the marriage. That’s just marriage and that’s just life. We all need to own things. Yet, people have affairs because they are unhealthy, selfish and convince themselves they have no other option when reality that’s just not true.