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Why do men lie? Why don't women listen?

  • Ephelia
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11 years 6 months ago #142408 by Ephelia
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Thanks Ruby!

I had noticed but as I'm the 'partner of a divorcing person' I feel a little as if I shouldn't be here... so didn't like to draw attention to it... I do feel really chuffed you noticed, so thank you!

I guess the problem is if your partner doesn't have an obviously awful characteristic it seems like you're being silly or shallow when you try and explain what the problem is...

My husband always had to have his own way... had to be in complete charge of all the finances... knew he was clever and I was stupid... believed men were generally superior to women... really didn't like sex... if you complain of any of these things individually you just end up sounding silly and shallow.

Hope you enjoy the book!

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11 years 6 months ago #142411 by Middi
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Why do men lie? Why don't women listen?


That one just had to have been written by a female :laugh:

Oh I get it, she doesn't listen 'cause he lies


In my own rather limited experience, exactly the reverse seems more appropriate.

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11 years 6 months ago #142415 by Shimmer
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An interesting notion, not listening or not hearing. I'm with Marshy on this. My x never told me he was unhappy directly and if he was trying to communicate that message subtly, it went largly unnoticed by me until the night he told me he was having an affair. I can now see that my 'unawareness' was out of a false sense of security (although if you don't feel secure in your own marriage, with the person you love and trust the most, and who you believe feels the same, well...??) and complacency on my part. Of course I was comfortable. We'd been together 23 years. Why wouldn't I have been? I'm not saying that's right, and I'm certainly not saying I had no responsibility in the breakdown of our relationship, because obviously, people who are happy (with themselves, in their relationship, etc.) don't have affairs.

But I do believe it's either a wake up call for a marriage that has gotten rather complacent or the cheating partner's rather cowardly way of not facing up to a problem. What I mean is, I'm willing to take responsibility for my own comfortableness and complacency. But hand on heart, I can definitely say I didn't 'not listen'. We had always had good communication and genuinely liked each other as well as (I thought) loved each other unreservedly.

And I would have forgiven the infidelity and used it as a way to strengthen our relationship, had I been given the opportunity to do so. My belief was that we had so much 'meat and bones' and so many things that were of value (and I don't mean 'stuff') that it was worth making the effort. Sitting down and really, really being honest with each other and seeing where that led was what I wanted more than anything. He was so smitten that he was unwilling to even consider it, rather unfortunately.

\"Trying to tell someone your feelings have changed\" is one thing and having an affair as a means or justification to get out of the marriage is quite another. If my x had been honest with me when he began to feel less connected with me, whenever that was (I will never know) things today would be a lot different. Yes, perhaps we would have parted, who knows? It happens. We also might have stayed together and made more of an effort for each other. Who knows? But I would have liked to have had the opportunity to discuss it and face whatever issues there were to be faced, rather than be traded in for another model. After all, this was my life too!

I'm a natural communicator, and I'm a very direct person. That has never changed, and x knew me well enough after 23 years to know that I'd rather face a problem then pretend it wasn't there. So his betrayal to that sense of honesty is indefensible.

I think my emotional radar is pretty good. And yes, in hindsight, (and this penny dropped rather immediately when he told me about OW) I can see that in that last month we were together there was a marked change in his behaviour (working late, away more often, nose in the laptop for hours, etc.) But I can also see that up until the night he told me he was cheating, he was affectionate and caring and loving. On the way to dinner that night he held my hand for crissake. We were a very tactile, cuddly couple and that hadn't changed. So there was no underlying tension between us, but there was a 'sense of distance' that I couldn't put my finger on and at the time, I thought this was down to stress at work, houseguests, lodgers who had been with us for the better part of a year and other residual pressures of life. In fact, we were due to go on holiday in a couple weeks' time and (I thought) we were very much looking forward to that time to reconnect and relax together. (he ended up taking OW, paid for out of joint funds, I might add). So in that month, I didn't feel too much of a need to question that sense of 'distance'. After all, this is someone I trusted and who I believed loved me. Nevertheless, there was a point at which I felt an invisible tapping on my shoulder, that he was being distant all of a sudden and so, being the direct person that I am, asked him about it, never DREAMING he was having an affair. His response was that yes, it was the pressure at work so I took him at his word because I knew he was working on a large project and was under a lot of pressure.

Well, that night he told me he was having an affair, and the only reason he told me was because he thought I had found out. I had no idea!!!

So yea, I was more than shocked.

The point is, if someone is that desperately unhappy with their marriage or with themselves, they owe it to their partner to be honest about it, no matter how painful that is. Running into someone else's arms is cowardly, and selfish in the extreme, and I'm sorry, but as far as I'm concerned, nothing and no one can be worth causing this much pain to so many people.

If someone is unhappy and 'tries' to tell their partner and their partner 'isn't hearing them' doesn't it make more sense to spell it out rather bluntly and just file for divorce? At least that way, whatever issues there are have to be faced by both. Waiting until they have the 'get out clause' of OW/OM is indefensible. Being unhappy and making the decision to cheat are, let's face it, two very different things.

Here's a link to a great 'asked and answered' that articulates this far better than I can in terms of 'constructively' ending a marriage:

women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_sty...y/article5390553.ece

I think 'Aunt Sally's advice is spot on, and wish to god my x would have had enough self awareness, not to mention respect for me as a human being, to do what she suggests. Sadly, he didn't, and our family has been ripped to shreds because of it.

At the end of the day, I do, and always will, feel that cheating is just wrong - End Of.

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11 years 6 months ago #142433 by Ephelia
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As I've said before GTU I don't think there's a good justification for cheating... I was just trying to contribute to a debate on the inability of the two genders to communicate in a meaningful way... and I do accept there are always exceptions and that some people are just 'bad eggs'... I just don't believe everyone or the majority are... I just think there's an awful lot of people making a real c**k-up of things without meaning to...

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11 years 6 months ago #142456 by Marshy_
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Ephelia wrote:

Hi Eph

You're right, when I was trying to explain to my husband I probably wasn't direct - certainly not direct enough - not because I was trying to be difficult but because what I was trying to say was hurtful and I hate hurting anyone I was trying not to be cruel... but by trying not to be hurtful and cruel I ended up hurting him more... horrible irony...


I know what you mean. Cruel to be kind. But sometimes you just need to say it. I would prefer someone just tell me. Let me deal with the emotions. Thats my job.

I do agree that wiki is good but can't agree that its not biased... we're all biased in that we're influenced and affected by our own experiences... but its good to read lots of different biased views because then you see things from different sides, so you may understand them better...


I suppose you are right. Looking at it this way. What I meant is that when I give advice I am not trying to influence. Say if a brother or sister or perhaps a partner would. Thats what I mean.

As for my partner and his ex telling me things I want to hear... frankly after 3 years I really don't want to hear any more about it at all...


Yea it does get on yr nerves. Thankfully I dont have any contact with her. So I dont hear it or anything else. Its as if I was born nearly 3 years ago. Its all different. Not 1 thing is the same. A total life change. C.

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11 years 6 months ago #142457 by Marshy_
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GTU wrote:

I can now see that my 'unawareness' was out of a false sense of security (although if you don't feel secure in your own marriage, with the person you love and trust the most, and who you believe feels the same, well...??) and complacency on my part. Of course I was comfortable. We'd been together 23 years.


GTU its not a crime to be complacent. Nothing is the same after this. I hope that you have learned that nothing is forever and your not secure as long as what you are in is relient on someone else. Becuase everyone is broken to some extent and people just let you down.

I was also complacent. Looking back I was sleep walking towards my funeral. Now I will roar up in that V8 powered muscle car hanbrake turn in. Not drift off in my sleep. Well thats the theory. C.

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11 years 6 months ago #142487 by Shimmer
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Ephellia, perhaps I misinterpred your post, but when I read it, it felt like a justification for having an affair 'as a way out' of a relationship when the other person 'just wasn't getting it' that one was unhappy. Perhaps that's me projecting my own situation, for obvious reasons.

I do understand the idea of not wanting to mention 'little things' but I also believe that it's the pebble in your shoe that wears you down, not the mountain you have to climb. In my situation, x knew this about me, knew way I looked at life, and that I was not one to shy away from the hard bits. In 23 years, we had faced some, for sure, but we always talked about them. Didn't always agree, but we made the effort to communicate and come to a conclusion and sometimes agree to disagree. So I do, and probably always will, find it indefensible that he chose to get involved with someone (who was also cheating on her partner) as a means to justify or excuse his 'way out'. Because that was a very conscious choice, or rather, a series of choices on his part (and hers!) It makes me laugh out loud (in a sad kind of way) to think he ever considered that this would somehow be less painful than being honest in the first place, whenever it was that he began feeling things had changed for him. As IF. Anyway, that's just my experience, and frankly, one I could have done without. It's done a lot of unnecessary damage, to me and to my kids. And to him, I think, but he isn't aware of that at the moment.

Point taken about the book. I hope it helps people.

For me, my x was always 'a good egg', a really nice guy and not a womaniser or a liar, etc. until this happened. And that's why I was so shellshocked - in the extreme - by what he did and most of all, by the way he handled it. But as Marshy says, you don't really know anyone, you only really know yourself.

So we all see things through our own experience. I do believe though, that whatever issues my x was wrestling with, he will eventually come face to face with at some point, and the 'new, exciting relationship' that he's in now isn't the solution to solving those issues - it's just a diversionary tactic. Whether that relationship has a future or not will depend on their ability to be honest with themselves and with each other. Unlikely, given the fact that they were both cheating, but who knows? And does it matter to me? Only as a means of self satisfaction, but not in the greater scheme of things, and in time I won't care at all. Indifference is a wonderful thing.

Marshy, I agree it's unrealistic and dangerous to depend on anyone for one's happiness and security, but I also feel that if you are in a committed relationship then honesty and integrity are key. Otherwise what's the point? True, nothing lasts forever. Things change but it doesn't mean they have to end, just that they need to change. If both people can accommodate that change, then great. If not, then they part. But it's how it's done that is so important. Guess that's what I had a hard time coming to terms with - that he didn't see the potential for that - that change could happen - nor had any inclination to embrace the possibility. More's the pity, but hey, his loss.

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