Part One: Summary of PM’s over the last year.
Often someone will read an old post of mine The Cheating Game and, I get many private messages that go something like this:
I was reading your post from a year ago and would like the benefit of your experience. I became RP aware a few weeks, or months, ago and have read some, or all, of the side bar. I am about 35 to 45 years old and have 2 or more, kids. I have been beta all, most, or part of my life. I am long married to a difficult woman that has problems getting along with me and the kids. She has some intermittent issues with alcohol, or something else. She is an angry woman, a feminist, and she childishly refuses to accept any responsibility for her bad behavior. I am a very successful provider for the family and a good father.
I know you can’t make this decision for me. I am trying to decide if it is better to stay together for the sake of the kids and get sex outside of my marriage, or, just go ahead and make the split with my wife.
I am concerned that my children may not do well having me in their lives only half time.
I would really appreciate your advice........
Part Two: My response to the AFC’s PMs.
AFC, what you describe is far from an impossible situation.
Unbeknownst to you, you hold all the cards in your relationship. Just as you so easily admit you were beta, you also are the cause of all your problems, and only you can fix them. As you lift, apply dread, study the sidebar and apply it to your situation, OVER TIME you will improve.
As you get control of yourself and improve; you, your wife, and your children will benefit, over time. Very rarely, does leading your family fail. When it does fail to improve, there is no doubt about leaving and becoming a half time dad. Therefore, the answer to your question is to do the work on you, then your question will be answered by your wife’s behavior, in time.
You probably already are a half time dad. Between work, maybe travel and other obligations, few men really spend that much more time with their kids when they are married, compared to after they divorce. Get your day-planner/calendar down and really look at it. For most men this concern is overblown.
If you are still having sex with your wife, outside affairs will only dilute your time for gaming of your wife and your self improvement efforts.
The best reason for affairs is - the sex. The second best reason for an affair is to re-establish your view of abundance. If you are looking for more than sex or abundance, then you are a needy guy looking for validation, and, you will probably implode your marriage.
Recognize that getting caught will likely end your marriage, and, end your plan of staying for the kids. If ever you couldn’t keep a secret, you will probably not keep your affairs secret either. Based on your comments, your kids are a priority. How would you like you kids, and others, to know about your affairs?
There are some tactical issues. If you improve yourself/marriage, you have a shot at sex several times a week with a partner you can train to please you. You will not be spending hours gaming soccer moms, or on dating sites, or in bars gaming women that may, or may not pan out. Avoiding STD’s, not attracting crazies, and unprotected sex are other considerations. If you think you are dealing with rejection now, more women approached will mean more opportunities for rejection, and more opportunities to meet shitty women.
My advice to you:
If cheating is what you really want to do; do it, you are your own judge.
Avoiding cheating allows you more time and energy to work on the real cause of your problems - you.
Once you have gone through the entire self improvement process, and your wife doesn’t respond, then, rather than serial cheating, respect yourself and your children, and leave.
Part Three: Post Mortem of “The Cheating Game”.
When I wrote that post over a year ago, I was trying to make sense of my first failed marriage, that ended over 25 years ago. That post set in motion months of introspection. This post is the result to date.
I am still unapologetic about that old post. I did what I thought was best at the time. However, months ago, I changed to another username, because I did not want my adult children, to stumble across it and know it was me. The very reason I stayed in that marriage, became my achilles heel. I realized, I did not want to be outed as a cheater to my kids, and significant others. Well, my kids know now, but they always mostly knew. Kids are a forgiving bunch; you love them, they love you back. During my introspective process, they offered me some insights.
Their mother had/has serious mental issues that she did not/will not address. My kids said they appreciated that I stayed. They appreciated my being there for them, but they question if a divorce could have been better, for them, their mother, and me. My kids did not enjoy living with the tension, and their distant, unhappy parents. Having two parents and lots of stuff was good, but having two happy parents even if they are divorced, would have been much better.
One reason I stayed in the marriage, was to spend more time with my kids than just being a joint custody parent. My kids pointed out that between working and working “late”, going out with my friends, going camping “alone”, and my involvement with school activities, I didn’t spend as much time with them as I thought. When it came to coaching their teams and working in their school organizations, although I was always involved, they often had to wait their turn for my attention. I was often preoccupied with the moms that needed my attention.
I spent so much time gaming and chasing women, that I probably got less sex than if I was gaming the wife. Logistically it is hard to line up several one night stands a week. Much less train them to consistently give me what I want. Edit: If it's all about sex anyway, you may as well fuck the crazy woman you know, hard and often, rather than look for new occasional crazy that might cause you even more problems.
Another reason I stayed, was to protect my children from their mother’s problems. However, the vast majority of the time, their mother cared for one or more of them, without my supervision, or the need of it. She loves those kids and they love her, faults and all. I was wrong.
So my rationalizations for staying were not very sound.
“Fallacies of Cheating for the Sake of the Children”
If you get caught, you will hurt the children you are staying for and trying to protect.
You will probably get less sex than if you improve yourself, game your wife, and lead your family.
You will increase your chances for getting an STD, and attracting crazies. Any unprotected sex is very risky.
You will have to approach a lot more women to get laid regular. Increases your exposure to rejection, and, problematic women.
Having two parents and lots of stuff is good, but having two happy parents, even if they are divorced, is much better for you, and your kids.
You will spend less time with your kids due to your cheating, than you would if you improved your marriage or divorced.
It is unlikely you will protect your children from your spouse by staying.
Spending the time you would use for cheating, for self improvement instead, is more likely to benefit you and your children long term.
Part Four: What (I Believe) I should have done:
I should have taken control of myself, of my emotions, and spent my time improving myself.
I was the cause of all my problems. By redirecting the time I spent getting the thrill of sexual pursuit and validation, to improving myself, I would have been a better man with a happier family. Even if the marriage eventually failed, I would have gained.
If I had done the work of improving myself back then, I believe there was a better than 50% chance of fixing that marriage.
If it could not have been fixed, I would have divorced and improved the lives of everyone, especially my children and me.
Even if the marriage had improved, I still doubt it would have survived the empty nest, but the intervening years could have been happier for everyone.
Not many subjects get the visceral reactions that male, and female, cheating get. Although I have my mutating views about cheating, you are your own judge. With that in mind, I look forward to your discussion.
Edit: This is my thoughts about a primary focus on cheating instead of gaming your wife, or, serial cheating. This is not about the guys that do "catch and release" and every once in while don't release.