Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

An Update

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  • #1100684 Reply

    The root of your question seems to be “is infidelity always wrong?”. I don’t think it’s terribly helpful to view it as such a binary right-or-wrong issue.

    In rare situations, an affair might be necessary to stay sane in an otherwise happy relationship. This might be your mother’s situation. In my book, both of your parents lived happy wives. Your mother got what she needed for sexual fulfillment, your father got the illusion of fidelity and every other relationship need filled.

    In other situations, an affair might provide the necessary push needed to end an otherwise unhappy relationship and move on to find their own true happiness. In that case, is an affair really wrong?

    Now, in both of these situations, it would probably be better for everyone if they could just discuss their issues openly. In the first example, your mother could probably have been much happier if she could have just had other sexual relations with your father’s blessing. In the second example, it would have been better to just end the relationship rather the push it off a cliff with an affair.

    But life is messy, and luckily, it’s generally not a crime to have an affair (though weirdly, here in Minnesota it is) and sometimes an affair ends up the best=worst-case option. It’s not always an issue of right-or-wrong or good-and-evil. It sometimes just is.

    #1100685 Reply

    Anu, it is NOT okay to cheat on someone you made a commitment to because they’re “not the best sex of your life.” Sorry. You can ask it in however many more ways you can think of and it’s still unacceptable. And it’s absolutely asshole unforgivable psycho territory to TELL your partner that they’re bad at sex and you felt like having amazing sex and that’s why you did it.

    Try again next week.

    #1100686 Reply

    And I don’t agree with BM there that “sometimes an affair is best.” Have the courage to be honest or leave the person. If they think you’re committed, you need to be committed.

    #1100687 Reply

    Agree with Kate. An affair is never justified. IF this is true (seems very unlikely), then your mom recklessly and selfishly out your dad at risk for STIs without his knowledge. That’s really shitty.

    #1100688 Reply

    It’s really sad that you don’t feel like you deserve someone who wants you in that “only want you way” and are convincing yourself to settle for less happiness than you could have if you broke up with this terrible person.

    #1100689 Reply

    What a strange update. I, too, share the skepticism that this conversation really took place, but if it did? Gross.

    Anyway, your mom’s alleged (10-year!!!) affair was wrong and your supposed calm, near immediate understanding and acceptance also seems pretty off for someone who just found out a parent had a very prolonged affair.

    I haven’t followed your threads super carefully, but I hope you will seek some kind of counseling because it seems like you’ve got a lot to sort through.

    #1100690 Reply

    Also, infidelity is more than just physical sex. It’s a thousand lies right to your partner’s face for however many years. Someone who has no pangs of conscience about ongoing betrayal is NOT partner material. That kind of ability to deceive almost always leaks out into other areas of life.

    It’s also putting your partner at risk of an STD or some other contagious illness (covid anyone?). And it robs the other person of the information needed to make decisions for their own life.

    If someone wants to sleep with others, they can just SAY SO. In their out loud voice. Before cheating, not after.

    LW, it’s odd that you (an adult) are involving your parents in this — “my parents’ advice” and now “my mom said the exact same thing my GF did.” C’mon. What are you doing? Get some in-person help.

    #1100695 Reply

    Yes, in this (fictional) scenario here, your mom and dad were still being intimate and having sex. For your mom to also be having sex with someone else without your dad being aware of it exposed him to infections that he’d never have gotten tested for, not to mention Covid which could be fatal for someone with underlying heart problems.

    This *might* be acceptable if your dad had said to your mom, “I can’t / won’t have sexual intimacy with you anymore and you can go ahead and seek it elsewhere, just don’t tell me.” Or something along those lines.

    #1100698 Reply

    I will add my extremely deep skepticism that your mom (A) cheated on your dad for the same inexcusable reason as your partner did and (B) told you those specific reasons.

    But no, your mom is 100 percent in the wrong. If someone is in an actual sexless relationship I still think that they should leave instead of cheating, but I could kind of understand settling on something like that if everything is else is fine. I still think it’s wrong.

    But if she had a sexual relationship with her partner and wanted hotter or better sex with someone else that isn’t a mitigating factor at all. That is a very conventional reason that bad people cheat!

    And that’s why it’s completely implausible to me that your mom told you that. No one would say that to their children because they would sound like a sociopath. Even if it turned out that your mom had cheated she would have come up with some kind of rationalization. I feel like you have made up this story to try to contextualize what your GF did as less bad or outrageous. But it was bad and outrageous.

    #1100709 Reply

    Agree with the others. If your dad was incapacitated, say had severe Alzheimer’s and no longer recognized your mom and was living in a facility… ok, I can accept that she needs companionship. I’m not going to fault someone for that.

    But if your dad really thought that your mom shit rainbows and thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world, then all she had to do was tell him what she wanted in bed. They were married what, 20 years? And not once did she say what she wanted? I call bullshit. I call the biggest bullshit of all bullshitters.

    Your mom just blamed your dad for getting cheated on (look at what he made me do!). And she’s blaming you for getting cheated on to. What is wrong with the women in your life?

    #1100710 Reply

    I think you’re focusing on what SHOULD happen in a relationship.
    You’re looking for ways to excuse behaviour.

    I suggest a different approach.
    Does your current relationship make you happy?
    I don’t mean does it give you occasional happy moments, I mean are you able to look at it on the whole and say “this relationship makes my life better”.
    If not, it should end.

    If you’re spending this much effort trying to find excuses, I think I know what the answer is.

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