Did I consciously seek to hurt or humiliate my wife?

TL is firmly convinced that I actively and consciously wished to harm her and humiliate her. I am convinced that is not true, and that instead I thoughtlessly hurt and humiliated her through my self-centered and non-loving behavior. To use an analogy, I was not a cold-blooded murderer, but I was a dangerous drunken driver. That’s not to say that my actions were beyond my control. No, I was in control and my choices. But, I chose selfishness, not premeditated attacks.

I cannot prove my contention. I could even be wrong about it. Maybe in my sick jealousy and feelings of inferiority vis a vis my wife I subconsciously wished her emotional harm. Maybe that is what happened. I don’t really know.

I believe my actions came from selfishness, self-centeredness, and disregard for my wife and everyone else. Why can’t that be the answer? Must it be that I consciously chose to harm and humiliate my wife, not just as a result of my actions, but also as a motivation for my actions?  

This is not a rhetorical question. I’d really like to hear some other points of view on this.

My therapist says it’s not uncommon for people as sickly selfish as I was to make irrational choices. I think she’s right.

To remind the reader of some examples, I humiliated my wife by going out in public with an affair partner in settings where friends and colleagues might very well have figured out what I was doing. In another example, I slept with dangerously unclean prostitutes in a disease-ridden environment and then failed to use protection with TL.

Was a desire to hurt and humiliate my wife the motivation for such behaviors on my part? I don’t think so. I sure hope I’m right about that. Right or wrong, I regret my actions and I will do anything I can to attempt to repair the damage.


22 thoughts on “Did I consciously seek to hurt or humiliate my wife?

  1. MC, since you’ve asked for other perspectives – the conclusion I’ve come to is H did not set out to hurt me. He also didn’t try not to hurt me. He simply didn’t think about me. At all. Not one iota. He was utterly selfish and told lies or made decisions based on what he wanted. No thought to how it would affect me, us, or our future was given. I suspect the same is true for you.

    It doesn’t make it hurt any less, but since I’m in search of the truth, I have to accept facts for what they are. H cared about me when I was right in front of him. “Out of sight, out of mind” couldn’t be more true. When he hit the door, he was suddenly single, or dating, but certainly not married.

    At least that’s how it seems to me.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wanted to believe this was the reality for MC. But, his mysogynstic attitudes that fueled such anger below the surface were also a part of his acting out, his justifications, his entitlement. The maid would babysit when we would go out as a couple. If it was very late, we would have her sleep on our couch in the den. MC fucked the maid in the den while I lay in our bed pregnant asleep and our oldest child was asleep in his own bed. What if either me or our child had awoken? He didn’t even walk out the door. He waited until my breathing was indicative of deep sleep (apparently it changes when I fall into deep sleep). So, he didn’t even care about me when I was right in front of him, sleeping pregnant by his side in our bed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, H did a lot of unbelievable things, but I don’t think there was anything quite like this, in close proximity to me.

        Even so, did MC consciously say to himself “TL is asleep, so I’m going down to fuck the maid. I’m doing this to spite TL, out of anger at TL, to hurt TL”? It’s entirely possible. Only he knows for sure what his mindset was.

        I’m so sorry you’re in this place right now.


        1. I don’t think he did so consciously, but I cannot help but wonder if there wasn’t some subconscious satisfaction along those lines. I would like him to explore the possibility. But, it’s true, that it doesn’t change the past and it is not who he wants to be now or in the future. Does it change the path toward healing, for him, for me, for us???

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I don’t think it changes what I must do today and in the future: be comfortable with my place in the modern world despite my Victorian upbringing, remember that love is about giving and caring rather than about having and receiving, and continue practicing integrity, friendship, and compassion.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Thanks. No, I did not do it to hurt her. I did it for hedonistic and selfish greed. Hurting her was a sad consequence I would have considered, if only I had not had such terrible lack of empathy, compassion, and concern for others.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I have experienced it similar to TL and Sunshinelifeforme,
    My husband was selfish and did not think about consequences. As soon as he violated the boundaries, he became indifferent. His family (our kids and me) did no longer elicit any feelings. He pushed these away.

    When he was home, he felt guilty, and therefore started a fight, so I would either ignore him or become bitchy, so he had a justification to go cyber with the w….

    He, according to me, deliberately hurt me by keeping on lying. He played mind games. He lied about where he had sex and when and he kept from me for years many details in order to diminish his “crime”.

    He also, according to me, deliberately humiliated me when he took the w…. to places that were very special to us as a couple. They no longer are special to me. He also went to a famous and very expensive restaurant with the w….. I am sure people saw them. The rich guy with the prostitute. So, he also humiliated himself!

    He knew of the pain he would do to me, but he deliberately made the choice to go on.

    He would say that it was not to deliberately humiliate me…but it did! In the end you could say that is was about intention….his intention was not to deliberately hurt me…but this is how it is perceived by me.

    Before he engaged in this type of behaviour he lied too. He also stated that he would never do something like having sex with others as it disgusted him and he would never hurt me that way….SO HE KNEW !
    and he did it……stopped thinking about consequences….stopped having empathy….became indifferent and as a result humiliated me in so many ways.

    Intention is one thing…how it impacts a loved one is another thing. The impact is the hurt and it can never be undone. People with loads of empathy think about the impact (the consequences) to loved ones. They cannot simply turn these feelings off.

    You, MC at least are actively doing the work. My husband is following up and “doing his best every single day”, but it is not enough for me. He knows that for some time….If he is not stepping up….I am done and that hurts me and the kids. It is crushing me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, I’m doing the work. But, I wish I could be more successful at thinking up new ideas of things to do. So far, I can’t claim that seeing therapists, studying, writing, religious conversion, or any of these other things were “my ideas.” I do them because I want to do them. But, I did not originate the ideas.

      Elizabeth, your view of your husband and his intentions sounds very much like TL’s view of me and my intentions.

      Your husband’s view sounds very much like mine.

      I still insist that hurting and humiliating TL were the inevitable results of my conscious decisions, but they were not the motivating factors behind my decisions.

      With such disagreement, where do we go now?

      I love TL, I wish I had not hurt her, and I wish to repair the damage and make amends. But, the damage is done, and it was the result of conscious selfish choices I made.


      1. Thanks I will let my husband read this. I am angry and wished I could be less so. He is getting desperate. He is not as active as you and I wished he was. But I do believe that he wants to make things better and that he is hurting too.
        The lying I struggle with that. I see it as him being a coward. #1 of our (I wrote it he agreed) plan was “no more lies and that he had to tell all”. He kept the worst part hidden for nearly one year. I did not trust him and found part of it. That was a huge dip in my level of respect for him.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Oh, Elizabeth, your story sounds so much like ours. Between first D-day, when TL discovered my adultery in July 2012, and second D-day in September, when she learned of all my previous adultery, I too continued to actively lie. Cowardice. Yes, cowardice is the reason.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. E, just lost a very long reply to you. Trying again. OH also took the OW to places that were special to me (special to us, I thought). He claims, using his twisted logic, that he always made sure we went there first. How honourable! However that doesn’t wash with me. He also took her to places he never took me to, despite knowing they were exactly my style, to impress her with his fake Bohemianism. Still cuts me to the core to know this. X

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Falling Ash,

        TL and I have similar stories. I took an AP to a place that I had always been too cheap and too lazy to imagine with my wife. With my wife I was dull, unimaginative, and personally conservative. I was stingy with time, money, and attention.

        With the AP, I took stupid risks and spent time and money with little forethought.

        It wasn’t love for the AP. It wasn’t hate for TL. It was running around desperately, like a dog loose in a butcher shop, knowing the kind and well-meaning butcher who owned the dog would soon return and discover the mayhem. And, no, I did not want to be discovered. I was just too intellectually lazy to admit to myself that being discovered was a real possibility.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you.
        I love your support and I need it and want to support you and all others who went through the same. We all know how it feels and how it feels to have been given the ungrateful task to enlighten our husbands. They lack empathy and insight. It is not that they cannot improve, but is seems that we only see that after the damage is done.
        My husband acted like a “gentleman” when he was with the AP., to impress her. It was one of those “give aways” when he started to open doors for me…
        This is so twisted indeed… in particular as she was all but a lady!

        Take care and “keep on swimming”.

        This morning my husband said that he indeed is selfish and lacks empathy. It is a huge improvement. In the past, he just kept on saying that “the person who did those things was not him”. Now at least he acknowledges that it is a side of him.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. As a betrayer, I recall seeing relationships — all relationships — as transactional. Here are some examples of that kind of thinking:

          If I take the AP to a nice place, I will get sex. If I take my wife to a nice place I won’t get sex anyway because we have some disagreement or tension in the relationship (in my case that tension was actually just my own immaturity and insecurity). If I’m attentive to the AP she will do or say something that flatters me or strokes my ego. If I am attentive to my wife I still won’t get ego kibbles because she already knows the real me, and even if she did stroke my ego I would not believe it because I have convinced myself that I am the inferior partner in our relationship (despite the fact that a healthy relationship should be one with no inferiors nor superiors).

          Yes, it’s rather sick. I am working on valuing relationships for their own sake rather than for what I might be able to receive or exploit.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. You wrote: “I still insist that hurting and humiliating TL were the inevitable results of my conscious decisions, but they were not the motivating factors behind my decisions.”

    Yes, I think I get that. It is just very hard for me (and TL and the lot of us) to understand that you (and my husband) could consciously decide to do something you knew was wrong, but you did it anyway as for some reason you justified it…One person told me “I decided it was worth the risk”. That was honest…. (a female who confessed).

    He (my husband) did it as he wanted it…the consequence is that I am hurting (nearly as long as TL by now).
    and so many do….
    I can see it….I watch couples interact and see it.
    It is not because it is marriage, it is because I trusted and loved a person I thought would protect me and our children.

    Thank you and thank you TL!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Elizabeth, I know. I did to TL exactly what your husband did to you.

    Actually, I would be curious to one day hear his view on how he justified it to himself. In my case, it was largely self-pity and the conflict between my desire to live in the modern world versus my antiquated, conservative, rural, Victorian indoctrination.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have asked my husband to contact you MLC. I hope he does. There are not many men brave enough to blog.
      After I wrote post # 53, and he read it, we had a fight. He acknowledged all what I wrote, but he still struggles with accepting what he did. He feels he does not, but the fact that he finally in March 2016 disclosed stuff he before had denied is telling. In july (the 17th) of this year he took some back from what he had acknowledged before…it drives me crazy. I know that I have to work on myself, but I need him to seek help too. As I work in the field, as you know, it is hard to seek help in our town. I feel that he gains more from a man who has been there and who is working WITH his wife together. That is what I want.
      I saw some professionals but was disappointed. He went with me once, and it was not really helpful. I feel for him reaching out (if he wants to) to a “real person”, is more helpful.
      Thanks to both of you TL and MLC, your site is truly unique.

      Liked by 1 person

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