Infidelity Deception and Delusion in Relationship

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FemmeFatale
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25 Sep 2010, 4:37 pm

Toughdiamond - I can appreciate your concerns about your sharing of personal information with an opposite sex friend falling in the territory of emotional infidelity. And I'm sorry to say, this is usually how it begins. Example: Husband unhappy in marriage and needs someone to talk to. Who better to understand his situation than a female friend? Female friend patiently listens and gives her support. Husband spends so much time venting about his problem that he finally rationalizes that his relationship is bad and cannot be repaired. He begins to think fondly of his ever patient female friend and decides that she would make a better partner for him. He leaves his wife only if he is successful in convincing his friend that he and she were meant to be together. Of course, none of this would have happened if the husband had addressed his concerns with his wife and his marriage may have been saved. (Sorry to refer to the man as the unfaithful partner here, but I had to pick a gender for this example.)

Hyperlexian wrote:

<y'know, i was thinking some more about infidelity.... have you noticed that there is often one partner who is less likely to cheat (either sexually, emotionally or financially), even if the other partner has cheated first?>

I agree with you that there is usually one partner unwilling to cheat. Is it morality? I don't know. I personally know many people who are quite honest about their willingness to have an affair. Perhaps they don't view it as cheating. I wouldn't cheat on a partner - but I wonder if that is because that is an area that I excel in using black and white thinking. I just wouldn't do it and I wouldn't put myself in a situation where it would happen.



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25 Sep 2010, 6:49 pm

FemmeFatale wrote:
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Ah, the old "nobody was more surprised than I was when we ended up in bed together" thing......I must confess I'm usually surprised when it happens to me, which must be rather scary for any partner, as it suggests that I'm blind to the danger of being unfaithful.

But how does it "just happen?" Poor self-esteem. Not sure I really understand that. And when it happens, do you share the incident with your partner or do you find ways to keep it a secret from your partner? Does the secret slowly wear away the relationship? And is it a reason for ending the current relationship?

Just to clarify, the nearest I've ever been to an illicit affair was towards the end of my first marriage, and even there I didn't sleep with the other woman till I'd moved out, and I didn't try to hide it from my wife.......when I say "I'm usually surprised when it happens to me" I just mean the relationships I've started. I don't think I'm capable of having a clandestine affair, I think it would eat away at my conscience and ruin any chance of reconciling with my original partner, I'd have to leave her.

What happened in my first marriage was that a lady at my workplace was leaving, and I took her out to give her a nice send-off, as I thought we wouldn't see each other again after she'd left work. She said a couple of times that she'd like us to meet again, so I finally said that I didn't want that because we were both attached, my feelings for her were more than platonic and I didn't want to hurt anybody. She seemed to agree but she later sought me out, and promised to keep me at arm's length sexually if the need arose. So I met her a few more times, I fell in love with her and one day I just found myself cuddling her (we'd barely touched each other before, not so much as a platonic hug), she offered me sex, I refused. Then I left my wife because I felt that if I could feel so strongly about another woman, I couldn't possibly still love my wife.

My poor self-esteem helped to blind me to the danger.......I couldn't believe she wanted me in that way and I told myself that even if I went out for an affair, I wasn't going to get one. I couldn't "read between the lines" much in those days and when I did sense a sexual interest, I thought I was just imagining things. I still feel guilty about it now, though I never did it again once I knew what the dangers were.

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I think of emotional infidelity more in terms of emotionally sharing or sharing information that should be kept private. If my partner or friend shared personal information with me, I would be cheating (or gossiping) if I shared that information with someone else. I would feel betrayed by my partner or friend if I knew someone else knew of personal issues that were not meant to be discussed. In the romantic sense, the married partner becomes too close (without sex) to a person outside the relationship while eventually making plans to leave their partner for their new confidant. To give an example for the first part, I have revealed to my partner that I am aspie. I am very sensitive about this and I would hope that he would never share this information with others. If another person observes me, suspects it and asks me about it, I can decide whether or not to share this information. I would feel very betrayed if I knew he told others about my "different" personality. I would prefer that he lie to protect me and tell others that I am just very shy. In the same way, I would expect that he would not share private information about our relationship. So in a way, yes, I am living a lie that I consider to be acceptable.

Hmmm......my wife went and told everybody at my sister's birthday party that I had Aspergers, right in front of me :x I rebuked her for it later.....not that I thought it would lead to her having an affair, just that it wasn't hers to reveal, and I wanted to keep it a bit quieter than that.....I'd never told her that it was supposed to be confidential - she has a few Aspie traits herself and doesn't always realise the social significance of what she's saying.

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Frankly I'd almost certainly just leave a sexually unfaithful partner, and I'd want to leave a "decent interval" for the sake of my own sanity,


But would you do this if she shared with you that it had "just happened" as in your example? But wouldn't people in a relationship have an expectation that these sexual encounters would not "just happen" since each person should be able to set clear physical and emotional boundaries with those outside of the relationship?

I'd be furious if a partner I'd been trusting said that to me, no explanation would suffice, unless I'd been unfaithful first, or I'd been absolutely hateful towards her, and that's not at all likely. Ideally I'm sure it's much better to agree boundaries in advance of strong involvement. But often they're not. I don't think my partners and I ever discussed expectations. It's not easy to come up with a complete list - these various forms of infidelity are only a part of the sum total of heartbreaking behaviours, and some rules seem invisible until somebody breaks them. There are still things my wife does that upset me terribly, and some of them I can't quite put my finger on. When she doesn't seem to agree that she's out of line, I find myself wondering if she could be right, even when it's something as wacky as deserting me.

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I feel deeply wounded too by betrayal but know that I don't have the ability (or desire) to control the behavior of another person.

I've had very strong urges to control partners who have been hurting me, and sometimes in the past out of desperation I've succumbed to them and tried to force things to fit, but that approach always blew up in my face, so I don't go that way these days, I just try to warn them that they will lose me if they go too far. There's really no point in forcing a partner to be good to me if they don't want to be.



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25 Sep 2010, 8:25 pm

FemmeFatale wrote:
Toughdiamond - I can appreciate your concerns about your sharing of personal information with an opposite sex friend falling in the territory of emotional infidelity. And I'm sorry to say, this is usually how it begins. Example: Husband unhappy in marriage and needs someone to talk to. Who better to understand his situation than a female friend? Female friend patiently listens and gives her support. Husband spends so much time venting about his problem that he finally rationalizes that his relationship is bad and cannot be repaired. He begins to think fondly of his ever patient female friend and decides that she would make a better partner for him. He leaves his wife only if he is successful in convincing his friend that he and she were meant to be together. Of course, none of this would have happened if the husband had addressed his concerns with his wife and his marriage may have been saved. (Sorry to refer to the man as the unfaithful partner here, but I had to pick a gender for this example.)

Yes......and although I'm convinced that I couldn't handle a relationship with my female friend and can't sense any chemistry between us, it still worries me that we could drift down that particular dark alleyway if I'm not careful. Perhaps that's why, when she cited possessiveness as one of the big reasons why she left her last partner, I found myself saying that I was just as bad. Frankly I'm not. She says he went completely ape when she gave a male friend a cuddle - heck, it's been over 30 years since I did anything even approaching that, so why didn't I just tell her the truth and improve my chances of convincing her that I could be better for her? Normally, if I were seriously after a relationship with somebody, I'd find it quite hard not to hide such insecurities - obviously, honesty is much better, but playing up my insecurities would make no sense at all.
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there is usually one partner unwilling to cheat. Is it morality? I don't know.

When I was with my promiscuous partner, I found myself being more puritanical than usual. I suppose I was afraid of giving her an excuse to justify her own behaviour, or losing the "moral high ground," or maybe I thought that she'd appreciate my loyalty and return the compliment. It wasn't until we were in the last month or so of our relationship that I "normalised" myself, and was astonished to discover that she was terrified of me even making friends with other women - clearly I'd been protecting her so well that this part of her personality had never been exposed. In fact she'd said earlier that I could have other women if I wanted - clearly an idle boast.



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27 Sep 2010, 6:50 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:

<'Perhaps that's why, when she cited possessiveness as one of the big reasons why she left her last partner, I found myself saying that I was just as bad. Frankly I'm not. >

and

<and was astonished to discover that she was terrified of me even making friends with other women - clearly I'd been protecting her so well that this part of her personality had never been exposed.>

and

<Hmmm......my wife went and told everybody at my sister's birthday party that I had Aspergers, right in front of me I rebuked her for it later.....>

and

<Then I left my wife because I felt that if I could feel so strongly about another woman, I couldn't possibly still love my wife. >

Is it truly considered possessiveness to be concerned about our partner's friendships with the opposite sex when even public behavior with these friends seems intimate?

I've been told that it is possible to develop feelings for people other than partners. That doesn't happen with me. But you felt that you couldn't love your wife if you had feelings for another. Two examples of black and white thinking?

I would have been mortifed if anyone shared personal information about me with others in public. And I have been upset by the sharing of much less personal information with others. I sometimes wish I weren't so private about myself and my past. I tend not to say too much about myself and would rather have others talk about themselves. Self esteeem problem? I don't know. I guess I always wonder what someone else is going to do with information about me. This can lead into another part of the topic on deception and/or sense of identity.

Have you ever met someone or developed a friendship with someone only to wonder if the life they have created for themselves is real? Ouinion (sp) discussed this in another thread about people who created false identities for themselves. But sometimes the identities are not false. They may just be out of the ordinary.

Example: A few months ago, a friend of mine (Friend A) revealed to someone I have known for a few years (Friend B) that I had military service and that I had been married and widowed. Friend B looked very surprised when he heard these facts - he would not have guessed that I had been in the military and also assumed that I had never been married. I was suprised by his surprise and wondered (and of course over-analyzed) if he thought that these facts were not the truth. Since I (and a number of friends) had apparently been duped by another friend for some time about her life, it made me wonder how we discern truth from lies when we are developing friendships and relationships. I have accomplished quite a bit in my lifetime and was concerned that someone might think I was not being honest about my past (and I am annoyingly honest!)

I'd be interested in your thoughts on this.



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28 Sep 2010, 6:23 am

FemmeFatale wrote:
ToughDiamond wrote:
<'Perhaps that's why, when she cited possessiveness as one of the big reasons why she left her last partner, I found myself saying that I was just as bad. Frankly I'm not. >
and
<and was astonished to discover that she was terrified of me even making friends with other women - clearly I'd been protecting her so well that this part of her personality had never been exposed.>
and
<Hmmm......my wife went and told everybody at my sister's birthday party that I had Aspergers, right in front of me I rebuked her for it later.....>
and
<Then I left my wife because I felt that if I could feel so strongly about another woman, I couldn't possibly still love my wife. >


Is it truly considered possessiveness to be concerned about our partner's friendships with the opposite sex when even public behavior with these friends seems intimate?

I don't know......frankly I've got big hangups with the whole infidelity/possessiveness issue, which is probably why I spend so much time studying it. Actual sexual infidelity is simple - I won't do it and I won't tolerate it from a partner, and I expect most people would feel the same. But emotional infidelity (in its broadest sense) can be expressed in so many different ways, and at a whole range of intensities.......set the boundary too tight, and I'm restricting my partner's social growth.....set them too slack, and I'm wide open to the risk of infidelity. It was only when I read some of the stuff on the Web about EI that I realised there were still people left who set the boundaries tight:
http://www.allaboutlove.org/emotional-infidelity.htm
Look at those bullet points - how many people would want to even try to stick to all those? Would a partner who demanded those things be called possessive? In the modern Western world's eyes, I think they would be. And when we look up the Biblical quote, we find Jesus asking people to gouge out their eyes and amputate their hands if these organs have been the instrument of EI. I'm as sexually paranoid as anybody, but even I have to say that's going too far.

But to return to your question, I guess it depends on the nature of the "intimacy" - for me that means more than just sharing secrets.....even the socially-acceptable practice of cuddling is some kind of intimacy. Can I tell another woman a joke? Can I comfort her physically if she's upset? Can I comfort her with kind words? If I like her clothes, can I tell her? Can I even smile at her? Can I spend time alone with her, or do I request a chaperone? Must I walk away if the chaperone doesn't turn up? Can I collaborate closely with her on a job of work, and share success and failure with her?

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I've been told that it is possible to develop feelings for people other than partners. That doesn't happen with me. But you felt that you couldn't love your wife if you had feelings for another. Two examples of black and white thinking?

Maybe you just avoid the kind of behaviour that would lead to your feelings being compromised? Your posts her suggest that you take EI seriously enough to do that. Basically I'm a one-woman man, so if I'm silly enough to get involved with another, my feelings would have to either stay fixed on the first woman, or they'd transfer to the second one. I don't stray into EI unless my main relationship is so badly broken that I can no longer think of any solutions, I've tried to challenge the hurtful behaviour over and over but it's been met with disbelief and anger and eventually something inside decides I'm flogging a dead horse.

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I would have been mortifed if anyone shared personal information about me with others in public. And I have been upset by the sharing of much less personal information with others. I sometimes wish I weren't so private about myself and my past. I tend not to say too much about myself and would rather have others talk about themselves. Self esteeem problem? I don't know. I guess I always wonder what someone else is going to do with information about me. This can lead into another part of the topic on deception and/or sense of identity.

I tend to be "pathologically honest" with people, unless it's to do with things like revealing my PIN numbers or telling people when my house will be empty. Emotionally my heart is soon on my sleeve if the other person makes me feel safe, and I'll often divulge a lot about myself even to people I know I don't trust. Yet as far as I know, nobody's ever managed to harm me by using this information. As for low self-esteem, I have plenty of tat, but it doesn't stop me revealing myself, because I feel that it will only serve to filter out those who can't relate to the real me, and attract those who sympathise with me. But I agree that in principle it's probably not wise to reveal weaknesses - aren't those the very things that an enemy could use to attack me? Yet I find it hard to imagine what they could possibly do to me with the kind of information I give them.
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Have you ever met someone or developed a friendship with someone only to wonder if the life they have created for themselves is real? Ouinion (sp) discussed this in another thread about people who created false identities for themselves. But sometimes the identities are not false. They may just be out of the ordinary.

Example: A few months ago, a friend of mine (Friend A) revealed to someone I have known for a few years (Friend B) that I had military service and that I had been married and widowed. Friend B looked very surprised when he heard these facts - he would not have guessed that I had been in the military and also assumed that I had never been married. I was suprised by his surprise and wondered (and of course over-analyzed) if he thought that these facts were not the truth. Since I (and a number of friends) had apparently been duped by another friend for some time about her life, it made me wonder how we discern truth from lies when we are developing friendships and relationships. I have accomplished quite a bit in my lifetime and was concerned that someone might think I was not being honest about my past (and I am annoyingly honest!)

I'd be interested in your thoughts on this.

Sometimes people have told me of great things (they say) they've achieved.....I think I tend to go on the style of delivery - if they seem keen on highlighting their glorious past, I'll be suspicious, but if it comes up naturally in conversation that they've done something I admire, I tend to believe it. I may be slightly unusual in that I'm not impressed by a lot of the feats that people tend to crow about - rags-to-riches stories, tales of rubbing shoulders with the Great and Good, etc. I find it rather unseemly when people don't keep their light under a bushel to some extent, so if they're often bragging, I just want to belittle their claims.

Im also amazed at how honest people (particularly women) have been with me about their pasts. They've usually told me straight about when they've cheated on previous partners, even before I've made up my mind if I want a relationship with them. Their life stories have generally been pretty frank, and they haven't seemed particularly proud of what they've achieved - in fact sometimes they themselves have seemed blind to the credit they could take from their past behaviour.

I hardly ever volunteer any info about my achievements, unless they ask. I don't like bragging and I don't think my own life has been anything but the story of an ordinary guy trying to survive and to enjoy my life a bit. Sure, I've done some technical things that few could manage to do, but mostly they've been re-inventing the wheel, needlessly taking the hard road. All that matters about me is what I am now, and if anybody asked me that, my answer would be "can't you see?"



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28 Sep 2010, 11:18 pm

I am a bit embarrassed to talk about achievements as I am really modest, but sometimes I am surprised at how little my friends know about me unless a random fact slips out in conversation - where I am from, information about my family, etc. Not keeping secrets but can't imagine dropping this information in normal conversation and also wondering why they want to know. I love to listen to other people talk about themselves though even if some of them seem full of themselves. Sometimes people talk to impress and they don't know (unless they know me well) that I really can't be impressed by much. Some of what is said seems like total bs to me, but I listen patiently, store these stories in my memory and wonder if the person talking thinks I really believe what they are saying. I usually will not call someone out for making up stories (and can usually tell when someone is wildly exaggerating) but get annoyed (and let the person know it) when I think they are not honest about their opinions, wants or needs. Pandering for another's approval seems pathetic to me.

As for infidelity and possessiveness, I would have a hard time controlling my partner's activities involving his friends. If I appear possessive (jealous), I may be giving my partner cause to doubt my own actions with friends - when both of us are not doing anything wrong. I wouldn't want to assume and accuse him of unfaithfulness when I am not certain sometimes how my actions appear with others and would be insulted to be accused of something wrong when I haven't done anything wrong. Does that make sense?

And our actions with others are likely to be misunderstood and communicated back to our partners (by a third party) in a way that is not accurate. An innocent conversation or meal with a friend becomes a serious matter (it must be infidelity!) after the encounter is filtered several times through the gossip chain. How many people are accused of having an affair when, in fact, it never happened? So now I am back to believing very little of what I hear.

I, too, am very single minded (or focused) when in a relationship. And since I have never done the rejecting (or leaving in a relationship - some of us are always the rejected), I have no experience with having to choose between two people or relationships. I think the decision to choose must be difficult.

I'm very private about money and other similar matters. I think the issue of privacy and not wanting to have information used by other people may be in response to years of bullying. The cuts and bruises from the beatings in childhood have healed but as an adult, I find that the bullying continues - in the form of emotional abuse. I feel that emotional bullying can be worse than physical bullying. It is also sometimes difficult to understand it is happening until after the bullying occurs. Of couse, we were all told as children "that words will never hurt me." I don't believe it. As we age, we learn better techniques for handling abuse and unfair criticism - I emotionally detach so that the insult appears not to affect me - and keep matters to myself that can otherwise be used to hurt me or make me appear weak. Another necessary deception for me. And it seems to work.

I think it is good that people are honest with their potential partners about their past experiences. I find some of these stories shocking - but only for a moment - and then I appreciate that someone has been honest with me. Their honesty gives me time to think about what they have told me and I can then decide if any part of it is too difficult for me to handle in the long term. Relationships have been destroyed by many who keep secrets (and the secrets suddenly come out) about past lovers, illegitimate children, multiple marriages, criminal records, etc.



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29 Sep 2010, 7:18 am

FemmeFatale wrote:
I usually will not call someone out for making up stories (and can usually tell when someone is wildly exaggerating) but get annoyed (and let the person know it) when I think they are not honest about their opinions, wants or needs. Pandering for another's approval seems pathetic to me.

I'm usually tempted to call their bluff, but usually I resist it, unless I'm very close to the person, then I'm a lot more likely to say what I think. Not that it's helped - the compulsive liars I've been close to have just carried on regardless - one Relate counsellor asked my second wife "if he doesn't believe you when you lie, why do you keep telling the same lie? But she just looked embarrassed, said nothing, and continued on her set course. :?

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If I appear possessive (jealous), I may be giving my partner cause to doubt my own actions with friends - when both of us are not doing anything wrong. I wouldn't want to assume and accuse him of unfaithfulness when I am not certain sometimes how my actions appear with others and would be insulted to be accused of something wrong when I haven't done anything wrong. Does that make sense?


Yes - once you've objected to some slightly suspicious (but probably innocent) behaviour in your partner, it becomes hard to defend the same behaviour in yourself, even though you know it's innocent. I guess you also trust your partner not to abuse his freedom in that respect.....with me it's often been difficult to feel that level of trust, so I've tended to go the other way and object if the behaviour in question makes me feel threatened....I guess the restriction of having to stick to the same rule myself has generally been preferable to the anxiety of leaving things as they are. Luckily, my estranged wife has been very little trouble to me in terms of risking infidelity, whereas ALL my previous partners have been in some way "sexcually dodgy," so I might be getting the message through my head that not all women are like that. Trouble is, my mother restricted my freedom much more than was normal, and it became clear that the reason she did it was because she couldn't stand the anxiety of being aware that I was in any danger at all, which sounds very much like me deepdown, so I have to be very careful how I react to anything scary that a partner might do.

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And our actions with others are likely to be misunderstood and communicated back to our partners (by a third party) in a way that is not accurate. An innocent conversation or meal with a friend becomes a serious matter (it must be infidelity!) after the encounter is filtered several times through the gossip chain. How many people are accused of having an affair when, in fact, it never happened? So now I am back to believing very little of what I hear.

I'm sure that goes on, but I've noticed the opposite more often - I've heard people gossipping but it's rarely got back to the spouse, even when it was actually an affair. Time was when I'd have said it was every person's duty to inform the cheated partner what was going on, in the same way as they "should" report a violent person to the police, but I'm no longer sure it's wise - if I really cared about a victim I'd have a very hard time deciding whether to spill the beans or not.

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since I have never done the rejecting (or leaving in a relationship - some of us are always the rejected), I have no experience with having to choose between two people or relationships. I think the decision to choose must be difficult.

It's sad that you've always been the rejected one when it's gone wrong - Relate say that the rejected one usually suffers the biggest loss of self-esteem. It's been a mixture for me...I've rejected slightly more often than I've been rejected, and in a couple of cases it's been hard to know who ended it.
I
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'm very private about money and other similar matters. I think the issue of privacy and not wanting to have information used by other people may be in response to years of bullying. The cuts and bruises from the beatings in childhood have healed but as an adult, I find that the bullying continues - in the form of emotional abuse. I feel that emotional bullying can be worse than physical bullying. It is also sometimes difficult to understand it is happening until after the bullying occurs. Of couse, we were all told as children "that words will never hurt me." I don't believe it. As we age, we learn better techniques for handling abuse and unfair criticism - I emotionally detach so that the insult appears not to affect me - and keep matters to myself that can otherwise be used to hurt me or make me appear weak. Another necessary deception for me. And it seems to work.

Some psychologists believe that those who were bullied as children will sometimes unconsciously select partners who willl continue the process - it's said to be an attempt to carry on the unfinished business, the unresolved issues of childhood. I don't know, but I'd love to find some good advice on how to deal with transference in relationships, as that seems to be a transference thing.

You're not the only Aspie who has said that they don't realise they're being bullied until some time after the event(s). I get that problem a lot myself, so does an Aspie friend of mine. And rather worryingly, we've both been known to go ballistic once we've figured it out. It's one thing to know you're being abused as it's happening, where you have the chance of fending off the attack, but if you suddenly realise they've been getting away with repeatedly abusing you, there's a strong temptation to make up for lost time in dealing with it....it tends to feel as if the other person has been deliberately cloaking their attacks, but that's not always the case.

And you're quite right - words can hurt every bit as much as a physical attack. I seem to have the same defense against them as you have - a capacity to quickly and completely detach emotionally from the conversation. They can strike, but they'll get no evidence that their blows have struck home, because I just won't let them. I rarely seem more self-confident than when another person seems to be trying to undermine my self-confidence.
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I think it is good that people are honest with their potential partners about their past experiences. I find some of these stories shocking - but only for a moment - and then I appreciate that someone has been honest with me. Their honesty gives me time to think about what they have told me and I can then decide if any part of it is too difficult for me to handle in the long term. Relationships have been destroyed by many who keep secrets (and the secrets suddenly come out) about past lovers, illegitimate children, multiple marriages, criminal records, etc.

Maybe finding out guilty secrets like that can make it a lot more difficult to trust them because it tells you they're capable of hiding their bad behaviour from you, so you're likely to wonder what current behaviour they might be hiding. And you'll also realise that they have in a sense got into your affections by using a fake ticket, and robbed you of the right to make a proper judgement about whether or not to begin the relationship.

Though I've known times when, even though they've been perfectly candid with me, the admitted behaviour has seemed so reckless or heartless that it's made me feel insecure - e.g. a partner told me that her ex-husband had, in anger, said "I suppose you'll be doing x next!" (where x = a horrible thing to do to a spouse, the exact nature of which I forget, except that it was something to do with infidelity)....She told me that she just quietly thought "that's a good idea!" and went off and did it! I was then rather anxious that she might do the same thing to me, if I should dare to say anything insensitive that took that form.

Another lady told me that her marriage had ended because she'd had a clandestine affair, which was very honest of her as we'd not even become partners yet, and I didn't feel much bothered by it at the time, but later on it became a source of insecurity - my own fault really, I was rather besotted with her when we met, and missed the opportunity to ask her "what makes you think you'd not do it again to your next partner?" - I guess, if the answer had been less than reassuring, I'd have had to stop seeing her, and I wanted her so much that I just couldn't think in such terms. Love is blind.



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30 Sep 2010, 1:05 pm

Wouldn't it be great if I could learn how to quote and copy like everyone else? Perhaps one day I might. Lol.

As for the compulsive liar who carries on with his or her lies, I think I allow them to bluster on with their lies only because it appears to be reality for them - as long as they are not planning to do something foolish as a result of their delusion. Confronting your ex-wife's lies didn't seem to affect her.

<whereas ALL my previous partners have been in some way "sexcually dodgy," so I might be getting the message through my head that not all women are like that. >

So I guess it is possible for one to change their opinion if one has a partner who behaves better than former partners? Some men become misogynistic after dealing with too many unfaithful partners, and it is difficult for women to see than men can be faithful if all of their male role models are unfailthful.

<Time was when I'd have said it was every person's duty to inform the cheated partner what was going on, in the same way as they "should" report a violent person to the police, but I'm no longer sure it's wise - if I really cared about a victim I'd have a very hard time deciding whether to spill the beans or not. >

I have a problem with this too. I am in the age group where all of my friends are going through mid-life crisis and are either having affairs or contemplating having an affair or ending their marriages. I know which ones are unfaithful and I am also a friend of the spouse. I say nothing about it because I don't know if I should say anything. This bothers me a lot though since I really care about my friends but I know that I can't change their behavior.

<Some psychologists believe that those who were bullied as children will sometimes unconsciously select partners who willl continue the process>

<You're not the only Aspie who has said that they don't realise they're being bullied until some time after the event(s). I get that problem a lot myself, so does an Aspie friend of mine. And rather worryingly, we've both been known to go ballistic once we've figured it out.>

I've always been slow to realize I've been insulted. (Being beaten up or having rocks thrown at me were more obvious.) Adults are adept at hurting people with words - deliberate or not. I get angry either way but don't have an interest in fighting back. As for selecting partners who don't treat us well, I sometimes think that is because we don't know what is good behavior in a relationship until we have witnessed or experienced it. I think we accept bad behavior because we don't know any better.

<Maybe finding out guilty secrets like that can make it a lot more difficult to trust them because it tells you they're capable of hiding their bad behaviour from you, so you're likely to wonder what current behaviour they might be hiding.>

When a friend tells me that he or she is being deceptive (financially or sexually) in their relationship, I see them in a negative way and know that I could never be a partner to someone who has no qualms about cheating on a partner.

<I was rather besotted with her when we met, and missed the opportunity to ask her "what makes you think you'd not do it again to your next partner?">

Love is blind. And that is sad. It almosts seems that we don't think we deserve any better than someone who has no problem hurting their partner.



hyperlexian
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30 Sep 2010, 2:12 pm

in order to quote, you can click the top rightof each comment, where it says quote. that opens a reply box with the quoted text.

however, the text will be together in one solid box, so if you want to separate it into quotable pieces, you need to cut and paste the sentences and paragraphs (right-click and select CUT, then PASTE), then put a tag before and a tag after each chunk.

these are the tags to use for quoting, which have to enclose every chunk of text you want to quote... except take out the round brackets: (...) and replace them with square brackets: [...]:


(quote) blah blah blahdeblah boring arguments blah blah blah (/quote)

i always check Preview to see if my quotes worked properly.


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01 Oct 2010, 6:30 am

FemmeFatale wrote:

So I guess it is possible for one to change their opinion if one has a partner who behaves better than former partners? Some men become misogynistic after dealing with too many unfaithful partners, and it is difficult for women to see than men can be faithful if all of their male role models are unfailthful.

Yes I think it made a difference for me. Also my estranged wife had suffered two previous marriages in which the men had been unfaithful.....when our relationship was still new, she was clearly worried when an ex-partner of mine got in touch with me. She went as far as writing a very nasty letter to her warning her to keep her hands off me, but she never posted it - I'd realised from the start that it was quite reasonable of her to be afraid, so I was sympathetic......I'd already told the ex that I didn't want her to phone me again because I'd found somebody else and didn't want to complicate things. I guess the fact that my wife felt able to go and live in another city is good evidence that she trusts me, though she did panic a little recently when she realised I'd been making friends with other women....again I accepted her anxiety with sympathy, and reassured her that I'm just not that kind of man, and that the idea of a one-night stand or a relationship with any of my female friends is NOT the way I'm going. The last thing I'd want would be for her to come back and live with me just because she was scared of me having an affair.

The ironic thing is, I remember once having a disagreement with her about how close partners should be with potential sexual rivals - my view was that we shouldn't have such people as friends....she was angry and said that she was perfectly safe to make as many male friends as she liked. We never resolved it.......her complete lack of sympathy for my view was a source of insecurity for me, but luckily she didn't in practice seem to be doing anything untoward or risky, so I let it go. Her attitude rather backfired on her when I was wondering recently if I might be heading for emotional infidelity with my new female friends - I remembered her stated point of view on the matter from back then, and figured that, if she really meant what she'd said, then she'd not be concerned.

Quote:
I am in the age group where all of my friends are going through mid-life crisis and are either having affairs or contemplating having an affair or ending their marriages. I know which ones are unfaithful and I am also a friend of the spouse. I say nothing about it because I don't know if I should say anything. This bothers me a lot though since I really care about my friends but I know that I can't change their behavior.

I never quite feel the same about anybody (male or female) who is unfaithful, even if I don't particularly like their partner. I'd make a lousy relationship counsellor because I wouldn't be able to advise couples who wanted to forgive infidelity, I'd be down on the offender and I'd be urging the victim to ditch their partner. :oops:
Quote:
As for selecting partners who don't treat us well, I sometimes think that is because we don't know what is good behavior in a relationship until we have witnessed or experienced it. I think we accept bad behavior because we don't know any better

Yes.....I often used to wonder how I managed to get involved with such obviously harmful women. I think it's something to do with the Aspie thing about liking "anybody who likes me." And I find it very hard to confidently conclude that a partner is too harmful to continue with - I'm sure one in particular was messing with my head on infidelity and deprivation, but often this subtle emotional cruelty stuff is very hard for an Aspie to see.......I remember her telling me that an old friend had written her a rant about how his partner was hurting him terribly. I was scared, but I knew that if I voiced my concerns, she'd just put me down as paranoid/jealous/possessive, like she always did whenever I expressed concern. The guy visited us, with his partner, and my partner said afterwards that it was a shame she'd not had the chance to get him alone and hear what his problems were. That's the kind of thing that accumulated in my heart until I felt I had to leave, and it's obvious now that she was out of line by most people's standards, but I spent years wondering if I'd been right, or if I'd just ditched a perfectly good partner because of my own irrational insecurities.

Quote:
Love is blind. And that is sad. It almosts seems that we don't think we deserve any better than someone who has no problem hurting their partner.

As a man, in a way I blame the "standard mating game" for some of this. It seems that the man is expected to do so much of the running, to make resource displays and to be romantic.....none of which seems compatible with me nailing my colours to the mast and telling them that if they don't measure up, I don't want them. But maybe I'm meshing romantic behaviour with being indiscriminate.



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02 Oct 2010, 6:39 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
[Also my estranged wife had suffered two previous marriages in which the men had been unfaithful.....when our relationship was still new, she was clearly worried when an ex-partner of mine got in touch with me. She went as far as writing a very nasty letter to her warning her to keep her hands off me, but she never posted it]


Did she trust you and not the other person? Sometimes our partners are more concerned about the third person influencing their mate, not that their mate will initiate infidelity.

ToughDiamond wrote:
[The ironic thing is, I remember once having a disagreement with her about how close partners should be with potential sexual rivals - my view was that we shouldn't have such people as friends....she was angry and said that she was perfectly safe to make as many male friends as she liked.] ]


I have had male friends and haven't thought much about it until recently. While just in conversation, a few friends have confused about me about their intentions while talking about their problems. I have begun distancing myself from them as I don't know what they are up to. Even though I am clear that I have a partner, that doesn't seem to stop them for trying for something more?

ToughDiamond wrote:
[I never quite feel the same about anybody (male or female) who is unfaithful, even if I don't particularly like their partner. I'd make a lousy relationship counsellor because I wouldn't be able to advise couples who wanted to forgive infidelity, I'd be down on the offender and I'd be urging the victim to ditch their partner. ]]


I have a tendency not to urge the victim to leave their partner but I don't know what I would do in the same situation - and I hope I wouldn't have to experience it.

ToughDiamond wrote:
[Yes.....I often used to wonder how I managed to get involved with such obviously harmful women. I think it's something to do with the Aspie thing about liking "anybody who likes me." ]]


And I seem to be the opposite. I have started friendships with those who seem more aloof and rude. But they seem honest. Not sure I can really sense anyone "liking me." I was seeing my late husband for more than a year before I realized his intentions - and he pursued me relentlessly. Lol.

ToughDiamond wrote:
[And I find it very hard to confidently conclude that a partner is too harmful to continue with - I'm sure one in particular was messing with my head on infidelity and deprivation, but often this subtle emotional cruelty stuff is very hard for an Aspie to see....]]


Yet Aspies are blamed for emotional cruelty...I am more confused everyday when dealing with people as I don't know why I am the bad person when the other person is doing the name-calling. I don't really understand it any easier than when I was younger.

ToughDiamond wrote:
[As a man, in a way I blame the "standard mating game" for some of this. It seems that the man is expected to do so much of the running, to make resource displays and to be romantic.....none of which seems compatible with me nailing my colours to the mast and telling them that if they don't measure up, I don't want them. But maybe I'm meshing romantic behaviour with being indiscriminate.]


It is difficult to be romantic and honest at the same time. I prefer honesty but many women want the romantic gestures. I think the expectation for the man to be the sole romantic places the man at a disadvantage in relationships. Any failure in the relationship can then be attributed to the man - forget one birthday and you will be reminded of it forever! All other problems pale in comparison.



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02 Oct 2010, 6:41 pm

Hyperlexian -

Thank you for coming to my rescue. I need more practice quoting though - too many brackets. But it does look better.



FemmeFatale
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02 Oct 2010, 7:00 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:

[Yes.....I often used to wonder how I managed to get involved with such obviously harmful women. I think it's something to do with the Aspie thing about liking "anybody who likes me." And I find it very hard to confidently conclude that a partner is too harmful to continue with - I'm sure one in particular was messing with my head on infidelity and deprivation, but often this subtle emotional cruelty stuff is very hard for an Aspie to see...


Is an aspie more likely to be cheated on? If we believe the words of the partners of aspies, it is the aspie's behavior that forces the NT into the arms (and the bed) of another person. Does that mean we are to be blamed for their infidelity? It doesn't seem right.



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02 Oct 2010, 9:59 pm

FemmeFatale wrote:
Is an aspie more likely to be cheated on? If we believe the words of the partners of aspies, it is the aspie's behavior that forces the NT into the arms (and the bed) of another person. Does that mean we are to be blamed for their infidelity? It doesn't seem right.


This is the kind of justification which is used by people to remove the burden of guilt or shame from themselves--they make themselves out to be the victim. Aspies may be more likely not to fulfill their partner's needs for attention and affection (I'm sure this varies from one individual to the next), but this in no way justifies such selfish and hurtful behavior. If one partner is feeling lonely or unloved, there are better, more constructive ways to deal with the problem.

Of course, it's my understanding that the reasoning you mention is commonly used to justify infidelity, so it may be that Aspies are more like to be cheated on. I can't say.

And this is not me lashing out against betrayals in my own life; as far as I'm aware, I've never been cheated on, nor have I ever cheated.


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FemmeFatale
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03 Oct 2010, 1:25 pm

Kaybee wrote:
This is the kind of justification which is used by people to remove the burden of guilt or shame from themselves--they make themselves out to be the victim. Aspies may be more likely not to fulfill their partner's needs for attention and affection (I'm sure this varies from one individual to the next), but this in no way justifies such selfish and hurtful behavior. If one partner is feeling lonely or unloved, there are better, more constructive ways to deal with the problem.

Of course, it's my understanding that the reasoning you mention is commonly used to justify infidelity, so it may be that Aspies are more like to be cheated on. I can't say.



I wonder if the aspie suffers more (psychologically) than the non-aspie when infidelity occurs? Aspies and non-aspies are equally likely to neglect their partners. I see a lot of relationships end after infidelity. Of course, I don't know if either partner in these relationships are aspie (perhaps some are unaware aspies or covert aspies - like myself?) The non-aspie partner assumes that their partner knows why they are unhappy or why they were "forced" to cheat, but the aspie partner really doesn't know what is not communcated to him or her. It is difficult to deal with punishment when we don't know why we are being punished.